I love politicians.
Now it turns out that in order for your campaign to “resonate” with your U.S. Hispanic constituency, you gotta go the “extra mile” and change your name until it sounds Latino enough.
According to the Kansas City Star, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is facing a real challenge trying to convince always-suspicious Latinos that he is, in fact, Mexican. The gist of the matter, says the newspaper, is simple: With a rise in mixed marriages, more Latino politicians could be facing the prospect of having to prove that they are Hispanic.
No wonder, the country has seen a sudden rise of name changes of late.
Loretta Sanchez-Brixey is now simply Loretta Sanchez
Rep. Rebecca Klein is now Rebecca Armendariz Klein
Texas Rep. Tracy Fischer now goes by the catchy name of Tracy Martínez Fischer
Richard Raymond, a Texas lawmaker, recently changed his name to Richard Peña Raymond
Etc. etc. etc… You get the picture.
So hereby -and even if I never made a point to have a gringo name- I reaffirm my own identity and from now on wish to be referred to as Laura Martínez Ruiz de Velasco de San Pedro de los Pinos y de Mixcoac (pésele a quién le pese and whether you can pronounce it or not).
So now you have been warned: if you have an ancestor with a Spanish-sounding name, or something remotely similar, this is the time to dust it off. You never know when you’re going to need it.