Can Mitt Leverage His Mexican Roots?

His father, George, was born in Mexico. Could Mitt win over a significant portion of Hispanics by appealing to his Mexican roots? Or will he keep mum about his father’s nationality?

George Romney’s parents fled to Mexico with him because Utah had made polygamy illegal. His dad wasn’t any more “Mexican” than Bobby Fischer was Icelandic.

It was George Romney’s grandparents that moved the family to Mexico. And the wider family was fairly involved in setting up Mormon missions and colonies there. So there were two generations connected to the country before George was born, and they were involved in the countries culture and political life far more the Bobby Fisher was involved in Iceland. I think its fair to say the family has “Mexican roots”.

But even with that, they were tossed out in 1912. Romney would look pretty silly trying to play up a centuries old family connection, and in anycase probably doesn’t want to encourage a ton of press on the stranger aspects of the Mormonism practiced by his grandparents.

I’m sure the Tea Party would be lining up around the block to vote for a mexican mormon.

This political strategy has as good a chance as succeeding as Obama trying to appeal to the Kenyan vote because his dad was born there.

Maybe, if he spoke passable Spanish it might help, but even then it would be a stretch. As it is, the connection to polygamy would easily overshadow any attempt he made to revel in his “Mexican roots”. His persona screams GRINGO.

Are you kidding? Obama probably did better among Kenyan-American voters than any other demographic.

Right, but overtly appealing to them would have undermined his message to other voters. Just like Mitt playing up his polyamorous gringo religious wacko grandfather and great grandfather who happened to live in a compound in Mexico would undermine his message to non-Mexicans. The only difference is as you note: Kenyan Americans were eager to support Obama; Mexicans are smart enough to recognize they share zero in common with Mr. Romney’s forebears.

Nit pick: His grandfathers weren’t polygamists.

Ahh, that’s true; my bad. But his grandfather did have two “stepmoms” who were also sisters. That’s got to make big family meals “incomodo” as they would say.

It seems to me that it would be far too easy to spin Romney’s Mexican roots into a negative by pointing out why they were in Mexico in the first place. Rather than work within the American system they fled the country. What led them to flee the country? Well, Mittens probably doesn’t want to get into that, either. Better to just leave the whole thing alone.

A mexican mormon whose grandparents fled the country because they found the US’s marriage laws too restrictive. That’ll go over well with the GOP base.

To my understanding, women didn’t vote for Palin because she was a woman, I don’t think it would apply to Mitt Romney either. Romney pushes more and more harsh immigration laws to appeal to the GOP base, people aren’t going to forget that.

Not that Obama is perfect (deportations are much higher under his admin).

Indeed. And Obama’s grandfather was a polygamist. Never have the two main candidates for presidency both been so close to polygamy in their families.

Romney’s Mexican roots? If he goes there he will be asking for trouble, no self respecting Hispanic will fall for that, and his main supporters will never see that as something to boast about.

No, nobody cares that Mitt Romney’s father lived in Mexico from birth through age 5. I know Romney wants to make inroads with Hispanic voters, but if he’s going to do it, it’ll be by making the case he has something to offer those voters like good economic policies and a more moderate version of the GOP line on immigration, not by arguing he is sort of Hispanic. If Mitt had grown up in a household with a significant amount of Hispanic culture that might be another story.

“Mexico has always been close to my heart. I can still remember the smell of my mother’s homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunches and Nachos BellGrande wafting from her adobe kitchen.”

Somehow I doubt even Mitt’s kids have eaten Taco Bell. Mega rich + abstemious Mormons = no reason to ever go to the Bell. Especially at 2 am.

More like, “Some of my best servants are Mexican.”

We had tacos all the time as kids. Only we made them from wonder bread, velveta cheese, and cold cuts. Mummy used to have Carmen cut the crust off, and I would sometimes roll them up and eat them.