Univisión planned to air the first presidential debates in Spanish on Sept. 9 and 16, one for Democrats, the other for Republicans, trumpeting a national coming-out party for Hispanic voters.
Except Republican candidates aren't coming. Only Ariz. Sen. John McCain agreed to participate in the event at the University of Miami.
So much for Sept. 16.
''That date is off the table,'' university spokeswoman Bárbara Gutiérrez said Wednesday.
All eight Democratic candidates are slated to show up Sept. 9, and party leaders plan to highlight the contrast. The New Democratic Network, a nationwide political group, is planning news conferences and inviting Hispanic leaders, including Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, former Cabinet member Henry Cisneros and U.S. Rep. Luís Gutiérrez of Illinois.
Most of the Republican field also ignored invitations to attend Hispanic-oriented conferences in Florida organized by the National Association of Latin Elected Officials and the National Council of La Raza.
Foolish. There's one thing W had right, and that's that future GOP success depends on the Hispanic vote. If the GOP keeps blowing them off and, even worse, using them as scapegoats and objects of derision, they could fall out of power for a generation.
By the way, you may notice in the graph above that Univision was even going to give Republicans a debate on Dieciseis de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day (the reporter appears to have missed the significance of the date). Appearing at a Spanish-language channel's debate on Mexican Independence Day would've been a hell of a gesture after all their nativist bullshit the last year or two.
Personally, I think the Democrats should angle to have their day switched.