Daily Archives: September 27, 2016

2 posts

Miss Universo vs. Donald Trump

Former Miss Universo Alicia Machado holds up her American passport in a photo she posted on Twitter.

The world may have long forgotten Alicia Machado, but the Latinoverse knows exactly who she is. !Miss Universo!

Miss Universo is serious stuff. It’s a hotly coveted title among Spanish-speaking countries, particularly Venezuela and Puerto Rico, which have won the most crowns. The Latinoverse stops when Miss Universo comes to the boob tube. Ask any Hispanic. Por fa.

The Latinoverse remembers all too well how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hounded 1996 Miss Universo Machado, who is Venezuelan, calling her out and humiliating her publicly, because she gained 55 pounds during her beauty reign.

None of this would be important – it’s a beauty pageant, for crying out loud!  Women parade in bikinis and call it an accomplishment – except it does speak to Trump’s treatment of women.

According to Buzzfeed News, Trump laughed during a Howard Stern interview as Stern “viciously mocked Machado for gaining weight. Trump called her an ‘eating machine’ and said ‘she ate a lot of everything.’ ”

He could have handled the Machado issue in a lawyerly way, quietly pointing out through intermediaries that her contract stipulates this or that. But nooo, he did his blustery best to control her and shame her  – publicly. That’s what’s at issue.

It’s Donald Trump as Fred Flintstone grabbing Wilma by the hair.

With Trump it all boils down to shouting and figuratively shoving women – as he did during the debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton, interrupting and shouting over her dozens of times.

Now Trump is miffed – not about his dismal performance during the first presidential primary but at Machado, who is now a foot soldier in Clinton’s campaign. Machado earned American citizenship and  taped a campaign ad for Clinton.

In the ad, Machado tells how Trump called her “Miss Piggy” because of her weight gain and “Miss Housekeeping” ostensibly because she’s Hispanic. (It’s well known that a shapelier, fuller figure is a Latino standard of beauty. Machado later lost weight and visited El Sentinel  in 2004 when I was editor showing off her slim self and promoting a music CD titled “Alicia Machado,” which the Latinoverse has long forgotten.)

Trump singled out this debate exchange over more substantive ones on Fox TV because tiara territory is a topic Trump understands and knows well. After all, he owned  the Miss Universe pageant in 1996 when Machado won the beauty crown. He has implied that this experience with the pageant gave him insight into how to seek world peace, to paraphrase a line in the 2000 film Miss Congeniality.

What’s got Trump all totaled is that Alicia Machado had the gall to call him out. How dare she? She’s a woman. That is the world according to Trump.

˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor

Debate: Clinton – 1, Trump – 0


Democrat Hillary Clinton won the first presidential debate against Republican Donald Trump and will likely get a bump in the polls. /Media pool photo

It’s pretty clear who won the first presidential debate: Hillary Clinton. She’s likely to get a bump in the polls for her substantive performance.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, started off calm – he even looked a bit tranquilized – then became unhinged. As soon as he started gesticulating with his hands the gig was up. Trump will blame others – the moderator, the microphone, his sniffles. But the bottom line is he was, and is, totally unprepared to be president.

My prediction: Trump will attempt to back away from the remaining debates.

I watched the debate at Valencia College West Campus as part of an Orlando Sentinel debate watch panel discussion with moderator Paul Owens and fellow panelists Earnest DeLoach, Chris Carmody and Tara Tedrow, all members of the Sentinel’s Central Florida 100. Catch my tweets at @orlandolatino.

In a split-screen television debate, Trump could not hold a poker face. He was fuming. His disdain for Clinton – or perhaps it as having to debate a woman – was on full display as he interrupted and attempted – no, succeeded – in talking over her many times.

Early on in the debate, I tweeted, “Trump does what many men do in conversation with women: interrupt.”   Not good.

Most people watched the debate. Not going to rehash it here. But will point out:

• The debate’s race segment was on point because it was not just an aside, as is often the case. Trump doubled down on his support for the unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy. He said he had come to know the African American community for “a little while,” which sounds ridiculous except that it’s probably true for most Americans, who know the black community only “a little” or not at all. Clinton rightly pointed out that “communities need to come together and restore trust” and that police need more training.

Trump also claimed “blacks and Hispanics are living in hell,” a gross generalization or stereotype he has repeated in the past. Not all blacks and Hispanics live in poor areas. In fact, the black middle class has grown substantially over the past 50 years.

• There was little talk of immigration. Trump didn’t repeat his call for “a wall that Mexico will pay for,” very likely because it doesn’t poll well with Latinos, particularly in Florida, a swing state Trump needs to win.

Trump painted gangbangers as immigrants. In fact, many immigrant gangbangers have been deported, mostly to their native El Salvador and other Central American countries, causing deep conflict there.

Trump’s boast that he is smart for not paying taxes will haunt him. It will not earn him points with the middle class, which he professes to support, most of whom don’t get the same tax relief. Clinton’s zinger will resonate: Maybe the country would be better off if Trump paid taxes.

•  Why did Trump bring up the temperament issue? That was bad advice and it cleared the way for Clinton to talk about his thin skin. The Orlando Sentinel debate watch party erupted in guffaws when he said that. No doubt, so did the rest of the universe.

˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor