A bilingual convention

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DENVER — Many of the warm-up acts leading up to Barack Obama’s formal acceptance speech at Invesco Field contained smatterings of Spanish phrases and paragraphs.

Whether it was Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who refined his language skills during a year spent volunteering in Guatemala, or New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is Hispanic, chanting “Si, se puede,” (English translation: “Yes, we can.”) the audience went wild as speakers acknowledged the Spanish-speaking community.

The bilingual speaker’s list also included Teresa Asenap, a public school worker from Albuqerque, New Mexico, a Hispanic woman who was one of five ordinary Americans brought onstage to tell their stories on why they’re voting for Obama.

On the campaign trail, Obama has praised bilingual education (to the chagrin of conservatives), saying it helps Americans connect better with the world around them. Now the question is, will we hear as much Spanish from the Republican convention in St. Paul?

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