In the recent Texas primaries, I voted for Hillary Clinton, largely because I believed she would put the most effort and energy into issues facing Latino Americans and immigrants (legal and otherwise). Still, I wouldn’t consider myself “solidly” in the Clinton camp, and might even consider voting for McCain — who has also fought for immigrant rights throughout his Senate career — in the general election.
Today, America’s only Hispanic Governor, Bill Richardson, endorsed Barack Obama. Does that make a difference to Latino voters? I don’t know. Does it make a difference to me? Yes — it made me reconsider Obama once more. But let’s get real: endorsements come and go, and involve very little (if any) commitment on the part of the one getting endorsed. So Mr. Obama, you have my attention. Here’s how to translate it into my support, and, should you win the nomination, my vote:
Put Bill Richardson on the ticket as your running-mate. That would be a solid commitment to the Latino community, one I could believe in and get behind. Considering Richardson’s foreign policy credentials, and your lack thereof (no offense, but that is the current general assessment), he’s also given you an extremely valuable endorsement, so now why not return the favor?
Oh, and you might even consider doing it before the convention if you’re serious about winning my support, since tradition is already out the window this election cycle…