Far, Far From a Status Quo Election

Years ago as a young boy in the small town of West Texas where I grew up, I would daydream along the railroad tracks in the shallow valley below our home.  I would wait for the high, mighty trains that I imagined came roaring from Los Angeles from the west or Atlanta from the east.  The trains would slow down as they sped by an old salt lake but even so would displace enough air to create a powerful force that on occasion sent my thin, reedy body reeling and crashing into the brown dirt.  While other boys were sniffing glue, I was getting off on sudden blasts of air from caravans of steel that the day before might have sat idling near the Pacific or come from the other side of the country where Sherman ran roughshod over the Confederacy.

One day, one of the trains slowed to a pace slower than usual.  A clump of rail yard workers not far from me waited.  One of the crew stood by a thick iron stick that he pushed away from his body.  As he did, the tracks moved and separated in part.  I watched with fascination.  A new set of tracks appeared suddenly and diverted the massive train to another set of tracks.  That decades-old image came to mind as I sat with my old college roommate watching the returns of the election of 2012 that some observers have characterized as a status-quo election.  It was anything but.  In fact, it was a shattering election – far more important than the pedantic conclusion that Democrats retained control of the White House and the Senate and that Republicans maintained their majority in the House.

Continue reading

Marco Rubio: Laugh or Cry?

I am one of those HispanicLatinos who wants to like Marco Rubio.  Anyone who knows and understands how fast HispanicLatinos need to rise within high leadership circles to affect the challenges the country faces should cut a wide swath around individuals like Rubio, especially those gifted with the kind of presence, charm and personality that some people equate to that possessed by John F. Kennedy.  In today’s media-driven world, Rubio possesses all the traits that lead to success.

Except that Rubio is so wrong on so many fronts.

Continue reading

Off Comes the Shine on Marco Rubio

Reports earlier yesterday that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was not being vetted as a serious vice presidential running mate by the Mitt Romney campaign – contradicted later by the candidate himself – imparts valuable political data.  Perhaps a goldmine. 

The first nugget suggests ongoing debate within the campaign about the strategy for the general election itself.  Thus the hash that became the latest Rubio boomlet was no boomlet at all.  More probably it was a botched attempt to influence internal campaign thinking.

Continue reading

Reworking the Networks at Last: Breaking the News

There are many tough executive-level jobs in corporate America today.  The nation’s economy is being buffeted on all sides by foreign competition, skilled workers are at a premium and the nation’s infrastructure each day falls behind the rest of the world — among other issues. Few of those jobs are more challenging than leading a television network today (or a film production or advertising company for that matter).

Whether heading up an English-language or a Spanish-language operation – all are caught in some way by changing demographics; the evident and growing power of social media and new platforms; and an audience comprised of submarkets and subgroups hard to unify into a national market.  It is nothing short of mayhem – and confused mayhem at that – exacerbated by business models that probably need to be revamped or scratched.  Not surprisingly, rumors abound about the future of the current Spanish-language networks, the advent of news ones and the creation of new hybrids for English-dominant HispanicLatinos. ABC and Univision this week affirmed their intention to bring to life next year a new cable news channel that appeals to English-dominant HispanicLatinos.

Continue reading

Basic Math: A No Vote is a Half Vote

So a Peruvian student in the country illegally, Lucy Allain, now of New York, last week accosts Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and asks him why he does not support the Dream Act.  The expected confrontation occurs.  He withdraws his hand as if she were trash, she said later.  Aides move Romney away from her.  I can imagine how she felt.  Romney is simply wrong on the issue.  More so, in his world, Romney would be called a cad.

But Lucy is wrong on another, vital matter. Asked by Jorge Ramos on Univision’s Sunday news program, Al Punto, for whom she would vote for if she could, she responded that she would vote for neither Romney nor President Obama, who has failed the HispanicLatino community – and the nation – by not pursuing immigration reform, not pushing for the Dream Act and pursuing a deportation program that in the end will prove counter to the national interest if it stands over a protracted period of time. Continue reading

And That’s the Way It Is

I tried to call the fellows at the Politico.com website in northern Virginia earlier this week.  No, not about Herman Cain.  I wanted to make sure that its Friday tip sheet for the Sunday morning news programs includes Fareed Zakaria’s GPS.  The tip sheet gives a heads-up on whom the producers of the main networks have invited as guests, and Zakaria’s Global Public Square by far overshadows anything on the other networks.

This is no small matter, especially for HispanicLatinos who are a globalized population in a globalized world. Continue reading