January 16, 2014

"Tea Party Candidate’s Ad Touts His ‘Sexy’ Wife And Large Testicles."

Pisses Think Progress, which is only going to make people watch this ad by California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R), running for Governor:



I've watched it, and I can explain that the joke is he doesn't understand his wife when she's speaking Spanish. At one point, she objects to hunting and translates her remarks as being about something else altogether. So her assertion that he has "big ones" cannot be understood by him (at least not until he watches the ad with subtitles).

Is this a successful viral ad... even to appeal to Hispanic voters? For one thing, he's flaunting his inability to understand Spanish, even where he has the motivation to understand his own wife. It's a role-reversed "I Love Lucy" routine. And the wife, MarĂ­a Conchita Alonso, is Cuban-born. And that's the other thing. California may have a huge Hispanic population, 37.6% as of 2010, but the Cuban subset is only 0.2% of California's population. Isn't it a white perspective to see Hispanics as a single group? And isn't the Cuban subset most likely to be seen as different, given the political history of Cuban immigrants?

By the way, what proportion of Californians do you think are black? I was surprised to see — at that last link — that it is only 7.2%. There are more than 5 times as many Hispanic citizens as black citizens in California.

IN THE COMMENTS: Elise Ronan said:
FYI-Actually I think you misunderstood. He didn't say he married her, she said "he thinks he married me," when he mentioned that he married the sexiest woman in California. 
I rewound and watched that again and thought the joke was that she married him, not the other way around. Sorry I didn't get that, but that counts against the ad.

ADDED: I see that he is married, to a woman of Filipino descent. As a woman, I don't like him horsing around like that with another woman and, knowing that the woman in the ad is a professional performer, I am much more critical of her makeup. She needs a much fresher look for a political ad. I Googled her name and came up with: "Sean Penn gets into public fight with Maria Conchita Alonso at airport, calls her 'a pig' as she says he's a 'communist.'"

39 comments:

DKWalser said...

I think the ad is cute. Would it persuade me to vote for him? It would depend on who the other candidates were. But the ad was endearing.

Henry said...

"I want to create a tsunami of jobs!"

Ouch. Lost me.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not gonna watch a 3-minute political ad.

If you can't say it in 30 seconds, it's not worth saying.

Elise Ronan said...

FYI-Actually I think you misunderstood. He didn't say he married her, she said "he thinks he married me," when he mentioned that he married the sexiest woman in California.

Sean Gleeson said...

Yeah, Elise is right: Maria Conchita is not his wife, she is an actress endorsing his candidacy. His wife is named Rowena.

Pettifogger said...

The ad will test whether self-deprecating humor can work in a political campaign.

surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

If that isn't his wife, then the ad is all over the place and a complete mess. You need a clearer message than this.

And if that's not his wife, she's too old-fashioned and messed up to be his sidekick. She couldn't do her makeup better than that? If I thought she was supposed to be a professional performer, I would have held her to a much higher standard of doing her makeup!

jacksonjay said...

Any ad that pisses-off the pajama boys at Think Progress is OK with me!

buwaya said...

Ad is funny, but he hasn't got a chance.

"Isn't it a white perspective to see Hispanics as a single group?"

Yes it is. Its also a clueless perspective for anyone. Most Mexican-Americans are very tribal and very consciously Mexican.

B said...

"For one thing, he's flaunting his inability to understand Spanish, even where he has the motivation to understand his own wife."

He can already understand his wife. She's bilingual.

I don't see why this is motivation to learn Spanish. Everyone that has a bilingual partner should try to learn a second language?

rehajm said...

Yes, Alonso is a bit of a conservative personality/advocate in California. She got into a fight with Sean Penn a while back...

It's easy to see the ad as a pander to CA Hispanics, and a poor one at that. Though points for trying to be different. I'm not familiar with political ads there, but it seems the political strategists there must think the carefully formulaic think tank stuff shown in most places won't fly there.

buwaya said...

I'm trilingual, my wife isn't. Very common in California.

Lots of white people married to immigrants. The American spouses rarely learn much of their husbands/wives native tongues.

Ken B said...

It's perfectly clear she's not his wife. She said so. In short AA misunderstood this ad from the get-go.

buwaya said...

Ad is too long and gets too complicated.
First 30 sec does work.

Alonso's joke is that of course SHE is the sexiest woman in CA. Not too bad in context and not unusual in Mexican banter.

Should have stopped when Alonso mentioned his balls. That works in the CA Mexican/Hispanic context. They aren't into long political screeds and are in no way PC.

Bigger problem is her accent and dialect are wrong and foreign to Mexicans. There are people who speak like her, to a degree, on Mexican TV, but that is an upper class thing and she does not come across as a woman of the people.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't see why this is motivation to learn Spanish. Everyone that has a bilingual partner should try to learn a second language?"

Absolutely!

She's reaching across to your language. You should make the return gesture. And there are probably people in her family or among her friends who are going to be speaking her language in front of you.

Ann Althouse said...

If your spouse is chattering away to others in front of you and they are talking to her and you don't know what's being said, I hope they are saying you are a fool.

Scott said...

This guy is not serious about getting elected.

Will Cate said...

You're taking this thing way too seriously. It's a funny ad. Sure, he doesn't have a chance of winning. But it's very clever, and he's got some, er, uh, cojones for puttin' it out there.

buwaya said...

"If your spouse is chattering away to others in front of you and they are talking to her and you don't know what's being said, I hope they are saying you are a fool."

Very few non-native speakers can keep up with the sometimes difficult tongues of alien spouses. The scenario above is extremely common. How many Filipina wives have I heard chattering away in Tagalog, Bisaya or Ilocano in the presence of their white husbands I cannot possibly count, its universal. At best the spouses learn some subset of phrases or pidgin, but very rarely are fluent. The American spouses (usually men) generally deal with it good naturedly.

And this is not limited to CA. In Asia you will find plenty of such mixed marriages. In the Philippines you will find many cases of Filipino husbands and wives who speak to each other in English, or Taglish, as their proper native tongues are different. And in mixed Filipino-Chinese marriages the Filipino spouse rarely learns Chinese.

Ann Althouse said...

In marriage, communication is a big, if not the biggest, issue. I can't imagine being married to someone who was hard to understand because of the lack of a common language in which both of us are fluent (and beyond).

Jim said...

Maria es muy caliente. Muy caliente!

buwaya said...

Ah, but other people certainly can imagine it, and it happens, very very frequently in fact. The outmarriage rate in CA, and the US generally, is very high among most immigrant groups. And though there are no statistics here, being in a society of these outmarriages, I just dont see spouses properly learning their partners foreign languages. Some Spanish, yes, but rarely fluent. Asian tongues, almost never.

William said...

She was born in Cuba but raised in Venezuela. She thus has double the reason to doubt big government programs. She doesn't look like a movie star in the ad. That's probably a plus.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...
In marriage, communication is a big, if not the biggest, issue. I can't imagine being married to someone who was hard to understand because of the lack of a common language in which both of us are fluent (and beyond).


You'd enjoy the great short David Ives play "The Universal Language."

Anyway, having thousands of languages in the world is stupid. Everyone should just learn English.

Misinforminimalism said...

"Isn't it a white perspective to see Hispanics as a single group?"

I think you mean a non-Hispanic perspective.

And fwiw, the law (and your local Diversity Department) is much worse. It counts as Hispanics anyone who comes from a Spanish-speaking country, other than Cuba, or whose parents came from there, etc., etc., regardless of whether the person actually speaks Spanish or his/her family spoke Spanish historically (e.g, Germans and Greeks who came to the US via Venezuela).

Temujin said...

Jesus F'ing Christ. Does no one on the left have any shred of a sense of humor anymore? Just a gaggle of hand-wringers.

The ad is funny. It's cute. It's actually more enjoyable than sitting through an episode of 'Girls'. Picking on the fact that she's Cuban, not Mexican, so it cannot be funny? Jeez. 'white people view all Hispanics as one group?'. That's what you get from this ad?

You are a sad lot, Madison. What a humorless town that must be to live in.

By the way- Maria Conchita Alonso was gorgeous when she was younger.

buwaya said...

Its cute.
Its funny.
I'm in California.
I speak with Mexicans every day.
My wife is Mexican American.
Its also not as effective as it could be.
Alonso is great, but for proper effect in OUR context she should be Mexican.
And its too long and gets messy. Short and sweet will do it.
On the Mexican voter side "Estamos Hodidos" is the message. That works well. It reflects reality.

sinz52 said...

This isn't the first time that bizarre ads have been tried in CA.

Remember the "Demon Sheep" ad?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo_Ejfc5hW8

It didn't work for Carly Fiorina though.

Christy said...

I've a Kansas born aunt with Mexico born parents. She doesn't speak Spanish; Mom didn't speak English. Just saying.

BDNYC said...
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BDNYC said...

Althouse, I'm surprised at your ignorance. You've never heard of Maria Conchita Alonso? Kind of like how you'd never heard of Candace Cameron ... just where in the hell were you in the 80s and early 90s?

Rocco said...

Althouse said:
Isn't it a white perspective to see Hispanics as a single group?

If it is, it is a newer, more liberal perspective. I grew up in a white conservative corner of the Midwest. My parents generation would have seen Mexicans as Mexicans and Cubans as Cubans. It would have been absurd to them to group disparate people together based on the banal fact that they happened to speak the same language.

Rocco said...

Althouse said:
"I don't see why this is motivation to learn Spanish. Everyone that has a bilingual partner should try to learn a second language?"

Absolutely!

She's reaching across to your language.


I have dated several foreign-born women. It would have been the height of arrogance for me to think that they learned English in order to speak to me.

mccullough said...

As a percentage of population, there aren't many blacks on the west coast or in New England, the Mountain states, or the Plains.

Most blacks live in the south, the Midwest (but not upper Midwest), and the non-New England east coast.

EDH said...

He should have used Charo.

Cuchi-cuchi.

Hagar said...

Oddly, no one has ever asked me to teach them Norwegian.

Cletus said...

She played the girlfriend in 'Moscow on the Hudson' with Robin Williams back in the day, and she was indeed 'Muy caliente' :)

gregq said...

"ADDED: I see that he is married, to a woman of Filipino descent. As a woman, I don't like him horsing around like that with another woman"

Wow, Ann, you need to get a grip. He praised his wife, saying he married "the sexiest woman in California." The actress said "he thinks he married me", since she thinks she is the "sexiest woman in CA." It's a joke.

If you really think that merely appearing in a funny ad with a woman counts as "horsing around" with her, I'd say you have some serious insecurity issues, that are your problem, not his.