June 18, 2010

During the primaries, Meg Whitman did her damndest to paint her Republican rival as a secret liberal. She spent 71 million of her own personal dollars, cozied up to Mitt Romney and former CA Gov. Pete Wilson, all in the effort to assure California voters that it was she, the person who couldn't even bother to vote for 28 years, who was the only true hard line conservative running for the governorship of California. All of her ads promised a zero amnesty/closed border response to immigration.

Well, that was then, this is now.

Meg Whitman, pivoting away from a primary that drove her much father to the right than she would have liked, will remind Hispanic Californians that she opposed Arizona's controversial immigration law in an ad slated to run on the Spanish-language broadcast of today's Mexico-France World Cup game.

"She respects our community," says the ad's narrator, according to a Spanish text provided to La Opinion's Pilar Marrero. "She's the Republican who opposed the Arizona law and opposed Proposition 187," say the ad, referring to the 1994 initiative -- later ruled unconstitutional -- to bar illegal immigrants from receiving public health care and education.

The ad marks a dramatic tack a way from a primary in which Whitman was at times visibly uncomfortable with her campaign's hard line, denying at one point -- mistakenly -- that her campaign was airing ads with images of a border fence.

Whitman is trying to undo damage done to the Republican Party among Hispanics that began in earnest with the fierce opposition to a broad immigration overhaul -- and the naturalization of many illegal immigrants -- that began in the middle of the last decade.

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