[OP-ED]: This “Magic Hat” played a role in this election…
The “Latino vote factor” is likely the story of this 2016 election, in a possible outcome that escaped the insular pundits speaking on national TV.
All the votes of this election haven’t been counted yet, but it is very likely the final results will confirm the early trend:
The “Latino vote factor” is likely the story of this 2016 election— a story of the sudden surge of Latinos voting massively across key battleground States, challenging assumptions on their real influence, and very possibly determining an outcome that escaped the insular pundits speaking on national TV.
Their historic numbers may echo across generations to come.
I saw the picture illustrating this column on the very cover of the New York Times this past Sunday and I immediately interpreted it quite the opposite the New York Times caption writer did:
“HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS: Mrs. Clinton greeted voters in West Miami on Saturday, during a swing through South Florida,” read the line under the picture.
The writer was probably referring to the haste of the last minute trip by the candidate to the Latino quarter.
When I saw it, I immediately thought this —a bit slanted caption of mine— would sound better:
“Mrs. CLINTON FOUND THE ‘MAGIC HAT’: Mrs. Clinton greeted (100% Latino) voters in West Miami on Saturday, during a (last minute) swing through South Florida (to capture this critical vote).” Florida was expected to deliver its crucial 29 electoral votes for the Democratic Party candidate.
For those who are not familiar with this hat, this is the famous “sombrero vueltíao,” a hat used originally by native Americans in the part of the continent where the country of Colombia is located— now elevated to national symbol in this country, and popular in other parts around the Caribbean region, of which Florida is just the northern part.
Both Hillary and Bill Clinton know this hat well, and they have both enjoyed wearing it during their several visits to historic city they love: Cartagena, Colombia.
In Miami, Hillary must have remembered the good memories while grabbing “the magic hat”, in the final hour of her campaign, with a particular gusto visible in the picture.
In her last minute appeal to these voters who greeted her in Miami, and many others who were finally acknowledged in Arizona by her running mate, Mr. Tim Kaine, plus the multiple efforts by surrogates to finally address Latino voters in Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, there is no magic.
The Latino Vote is a willing vote and it can go any candidate that shows respect for the proud cultural traditions these U.S. Citizens are bringing into the American experience. It will be impossible for any future candidate to neglect it anymore, much less stigmatize it as we endured during this trying election cycle.