Romney: America's First Hispanic President?!

From Foreign Policy:

He might look and sound like an Anglo-American, but Mitt Romney could make a real run at being the first Latino president. And it wouldn’t be just in the sense that Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton the “first black president” or Latinos and even Muslims hoped Texas Gov. George W. Bush, apparently sympathetic to their issues, might be their honorary “first” when he got to the White House. As recapped this week on NBC’s Rock Center, Romney’s great-grandfather settled in a Mormon colony in Mexico in 1885. About three dozen Romneys still live in the northern state of Chihuahua, holding U.S. and Mexican citizenship, speaking Spanish and English, and described vividly by Nick Miroff in the Washington Post. They form one of a few enclaves started in the 19th century by Mormons who left the United States amid growing anti-Mormon sentiment, largely over polygamy (which the Romneys no longer practice in Mexico, either).



Moreover, Romney’s father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, was born in Mexico. He lived there as a small child until his immediate family fled the violence of the Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910. Noting the connection, a columnist in Mexico’s Reforma daily speculated on Tuesday, Jan. 10, that the Republican front-runner could theoretically claim dual citizenship. It was tongue-in-cheek, but Romney’s Mexican heritage is a reminder of the inevitably interwoven ties between the two countries, and his embrace of it might actually inject more realism into the immigration debate.



Of course, that hardly seems likely. Not only does Romney speak little about his Mexican roots, but he has defined himself in the primaries by criticizing pragmatic positions from other candidates as being soft on immigration.

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