The Estefan’s Crossover Timing

January 2010: Scene at the Washington offices of Smooth & Glib Consultants, LLP [formerly the Academy of Tobacco Studies].

Gloria Estefan: Look, I don’t care how this gets done, but I want it done. If I ever have to ask another adult about reindeer’s, I at least want one of us to be in a sanitarium.
Nick Naylor – President and Founder of S&G: You’re upset and you should be.
Gloria Estefan: Emilio, please ask him to stop talking.
Emilio Estefan: Just listen to him please. We’re paying him enough.
Nick Naylor: He’s right you know.
Gloria Estefan: [Gives Naylor a dirty look].
Nick Naylor: Look, you’re here because both of you, quite properly I believe, live in fear of offending your somewhat maniacally loyal hometown fan base. So we have to offset two competing desires; the desire to speak your mind, even when your politics have diverged from your those of your loyal fans and the desire to start your car without any remote control devices.
Gloria Estefan: That’s a stereotypical cheap shot.
Nick Naylor: No doubt. By the way, is there another reason my Outlook calendar reads ‘meet Mr & Mrs Juan Valdes?’
Emilio Estefan: Just get to your point please.
Nick Naylor: You need cover on this. Look even Jack Bauer doesn’t run into any building without first having Chloe O’Brien send him the schematics first.
Gloria Estefan: So what’s our cover, what’s your idea?
Nick Naylor: The reason you’re paying me so well, and you are, is that I’m the guy who let’s you know that making up a cover will backfire. I’m the guy who tells you to sit tight until the right moment comes, even if your petulant little heart doesn’t like it. While reindeer’s maybe one of the few things you are actually qualified to discuss with the President of the United States, given enough money, I will put you in a position to discuss much more. For now we wait.
Gloria Estefan: That’s it? We wait?
Nick Naylor: Yes. When it’s time, it will be so obvious, it won’t even look planned. By the way, I can validate that for you, Mrs Valdes.

Recent Miami Herald headlines:

While I clearly don’t share the Estefan’s domestic political agenda, I think the fund-raiser is something everyone who cares about a free Cuba should understand and even appreciate. The worst possible scenario for those of us who care about a free Cuba is having whoever is in the White House thinking they have no chance to win over Cuban-American votes or having no chance of winning Florida even with Cuban-American votes. If the Estefan’s weren’t doing this of their own accord, we should organize a telethon and put them up to it.

In the end, the prospects of a free Cuba trumps current US domestic political concerns with respect to engaging President Obama. The cause of a free Cuba can no doubt be aided by having a US President with some ties to our exile community. Heck one of the inherent reasons we all are so happy to be Americans is that US politics are typically not conducted at the ‘patria o muerte’ wattage level [except for the whole Civil War thing].

So I hope their fund-raiser is a big success and that the Democrats lose big in November 2010 and 2012. I believe that like Tessio, the Estefan’s have made a smart move for themselves and that our exile community can benefit in the process. Then again, things kinda backfired on ol’ Salvatorre.

The most recent Miami Herald article referenced is copied in full at end of post.

Emilio and Gloria Estefan to host President Obama

Posted on Fri, Apr. 02, 2010


President Barack Obama conveyed his harshest rebuke yet of Havana’s government last week and, hours later, Gloria Estefan protested repression in Havana from the streets of Miami.

Now, they’ll be together again when the Cuban-born singer and her husband, Emilio, host Obama at their Miami Beach home April 15 for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, when the president comes to Florida to talk about cuts to the NASA space program.

The $30,400-a-couple cocktail reception is the Estefans’ first political fundraiser, said Democratic consultant Freddy Balsera, who advised Obama’s campaign on Hispanic issues and is close to the couple. The Estefans — who were traveling and unavailable Thursday for comment — orchestrated a massive march through Miami’s Little Havana in support of Cuba’s Damas de Blanco, or Ladies in White, peaceful dissidents who were attacked by government security forces in Havana.

“They’re both at a place in their lives where they believe giving back is important and patriotism is important,” Balsera said. Obama will also attend a fundraiser at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami that same day. Tickets for that event start at $250 and $1,250.

Though they’ve kept a low political profile, the Estefans are no strangers to the White House. Gloria performed at the inaugural festivities for President George W. Bush in 2005, following Bush’s 2002 appointment of Emilio to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

Emilio met with Obama at the White House last May, according to the Washington Times, which reported at the time that Emilio hoped to have Obama over for dinner to talk about U.S.-Cuba relations.

“We just want freedom,” he told the newspaper.

In September, Obama appointed Emilio to a commission to study the feasibility of a National Museum of the American Latino, and Gloria Estefan — along with Marc Anthony, Jose Feliciano and others — performed at the White House in October as it celebrated Hispanic music. The president quoted Gloria in his welcoming remarks, noting that in her words, “the most beautiful things in this country have the flavor of other places.”

Gloria also scored a pre-Christmas interview with Obama for Univision.

The pair chatted about Santa and reindeer, with Estefan prompting Obama to deliver a holiday message in what he jokingly called his “flawless” Spanish.

Obama’s reception in Florida may not be entirely celebratory. He’s convened a conference on the Space Coast that day to defend his plans to cancel a NASA space exploration program — a decision that has prompted howls of protest from Florida’s congressional delegation.

Read more:

About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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