Monday, February 04, 2008

Clinton's Latino Spin

Forman's comments:
Gregory Rodriquez was a colleague of mine at the New America Foundation and is now an LA Times columnist.  This is a great article documenting that Latinos in fact will vote for black candidates, and have done so in local elections around the country (see bolded text below). He also shows how the Clinton spin suggesting otherwise is simply an attempt to create a real divide by purporting to describe one.  A false and divisive racial tactic (once again). 

Obama is going to have to work his butt off to get Latino votes in light of his lesser name recognition with that community.  But I agree with Rodriguez it is not because Latinos won't vote for him on race grounds.
Key line:
University of Washington political scientist Matt Barreto has compiled a list of black big-city mayors who have received broad Latino support over the last several decades. In 1983, Harold Washington pulled 80% of the Latino vote in Chicago. David Dinkins won 73% in New York in 1989. And Denver's Wellington Webb garnered more than 70% in 1991, as did Ron Kirk in Dallas in 1995 and then again in 1997 and 1999.


Clinton's Latino Spin

The Clinton campaign's assertion that Latinos historically haven't voted for black candidates is divisive -- and false.
Gregory Rodriguez
LA Times,0,5950176.column

January 28, 2008

If a Hillary Clinton campaign official told a reporter that white voters never support black candidates, would the media have swallowed the message whole? What if a campaign pollster began whispering that Jews don't have an "affinity" for African American politicians? Would the pundits have accepted the premise unquestioningly?

A few weeks ago, Sergio Bendixen, a Clinton pollster and Latino expert, publicly articulated what campaign officials appear to have been whispering for months. In an interview with Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, Bendixen explained that "the Hispanic voter -- and I want to say this very carefully -- has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates."

The spin worked.


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