When languages matter: Obama tests his Spanish in Puerto Rico

May 24, 2008

obama-in-pr.jpgBAYAMON, Puerto Rico – U.S. presidential candidates don’t often make it to Puerto Rico, so the language barrier is not usually a problem.

It was on Saturday, though, for Democratic front-runner Barack Obama, who visited the largely Spanish-speaking U.S. territory ahead of its nominating contest on June 1.

“We have translators because my Spanish is just so-so,” he told veterans, who discussed in both languages their concerns about health care facilities on the island.

Still, Obama did give a shot at a few non-English phrases.

“Your vote is decisive,” he said in Spanish at the end of his remarks in English.

“Together we can change the world.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo: Reuters/Ana Martinez – Barack Obama shakes hands during a campaign event in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on May 24.


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Tales From The Trail……The Larry Sinclair tale is HUGE in Puerto Rico, since it is not only getting circulated by the most popular show on the island, but it is also getting attention by Televicentro (the highest rated channel on the island), which happens to be the only remaining Puerto Rico owned Media and News source on the Island. Interestingly enough, this controversy is not only damaging to Obama because of the drug-use aspect but an even more dramatically damaging aspect of the story is the whole “homosexual” dynamic of the story. Puerto Rico, after all, is a highly socially-conservative Nation, and the idea of having a “gay” President (even a small town mayor) is disturbing enough to ostracize Obama from almost every serious political discourse (and public support). It is well known among most Puertoricans (even the most Liberals) that even slight rumors about the supposed sexual “flimsiness” of a particular candidate is enough to destroy their political hopes in PR politics (case in point: Bhatia).

For Barack Obama, this couldn’t have come at a worse time with his only main supporter in the Island’s political elite (the highly unpopular Governor of Puerto Rico) now facing Federal criminal charges. This controversy could clearly diminish the prospects of securing any of the 55 delegates of Puerto Rico…Apparently, Donald Young and Larry Sinclair have become household names in Puerto Rico, it will be only a matter of time until they become part of the American vocabulary as well.

Posted by 34159 | Report as abusive

(WebMD) Almost one in seven U.S. adults aged 71 and older — about 3.4 million people — have dementia, a new study shows.
http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/200 71031/more-than-3-million-have-dementia

Most of those elders with dementia — 2.4 million people — have Alzheimer’s disease, according to Duke University’s Brenda Plassman, PhD, and colleagues.

They reviewed data on a nationally representative group of 856 people aged 71 and older, including people in nursing homes.

The elders took tests of mental skills including memory, language, and attention to screen for dementia. They also provided blood samples and noted their depression, medications, medical history, and family history of memory

The findings:

Almost 14% of the participants had dementia.
About 10% had Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia became more likely with age.

Dementia was more likely for people with a gene glitch linked to Alzheimer’s disease, less likely for highly educated people, and equally likely for men and women.

Today, John McCain was still accusing Obama of wanting to negotiate with Ahmadinejad. Why doesn’t the McCain campaign and other assorted Republicans ever accuse Obama of wanting to negotiate with Khamenei? Well, because Khamenei isn’t quite the flagrant anti-Semite Ahmadinejad is…and, as we keep hearing, Obama has a Jewish problem.
Later in the day Friday Klein confronted McCain with this question at a press conference. For a foreign policy “expert,” McCain clearly has a pattern of getting the basic facts wrong. McCain insisted that ultimate political authority in Iran rests with Ahmadinejad — even mocking Klein when he challenged him on it. In fact, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, ultimate political authority in Iran rests with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not the president. Liberann needs to step in again and tell John who the HEAD OF IRAN is.

McCain confused Shia, Sunni, Al Qaeda and Iranians earlier this year in his visit to Iraq.

Senator Lieberman fortunately overheard and corrected McCains GAFFE. Or was it

Dementia? He repeated the same mistake ( or was it dementia) a few days later.

Do we really want this OLD MAN with his finger on the NUKE Button?

Jim Frego
Grants Pass, OR

Posted by Jim Frego | Report as abusive

Re Obama saying “…my Spanish is so-so” A guy that bright can pick up a few phrases in a few minutes. It would have been helpful to clarify whether those were the only Spanish phrases or whether he said more.


Posted by Jonathan Kroner | Report as abusive

I was surprised to see in the news that today Senator McCain had bad things to say about the fact that Senator Obama never served in the military.

Early in the campaign I, supported Senator McCain in his efforts to become our next President. I am a 30-year veteran of the United States Air Force and felt that Senator McCain, as the only veteran running for President, would understand and well represent us.

Early this year, the Senator came to Florida where I attended one of his “Town Hall Meetings.” I told him that even though we (retired military) enjoy space-available transportation on military aircraft all over the world, the Commander of US Forces in Europe (CINCEUR) has prohibited us from flying into Israel and Turkey.

At this campaign gathering, the Senator strongly reacted by telling me that this was ridiculous because both Israel and Turkey are strong allies of America and thousands of American tourists travel there every week. He asked me to send him a letter on this issue and he would work it.

Unfortunately, after six months of “working the issue”, the Senator sent me a letter telling me that we cannot fly to Israel and Turkey on military aircraft because it is against the policy of CINCEUR.

If the Senator could not solve this simple issue, I wonder how effective he would be in the White House. Veteran or not, he has turned out to be a Washington, DC insider. Time for a change to Obama!

Posted by Marvin Feldman | Report as abusive