The candidates debates are getting more and more numerous here...but most seem to miss a large part of the audience, the ever growing Latino voter. UP 26% from 2008, it is now 12 million here in los Estados Unidos. Do the math; a winner needs at least 50 million votes. Even though the selection for the president is not based on a clear majority, it is done by electoral college, a system somewhat unique to this country, there is still a numbers game. So 12 million will make or break it for the candidate.
And then there is the black vote. And the Asian vote, and that of many other groups. Just now, Obama may think he has most of the minorities and is safe. Four years ago he could think so; but four years is a long time in politics. So he may be in for a serious disappointment; which some say he has been.
Personally, I don't think he is quite such a disappointment - but then again, how did he let the bankers off in the latest round of Wall Street scandals? That hurt everyone. And he ought to have sent the bums to jail, not bailed them out. I just mean that I do not blame him for everything, or the general state of the economy, which is bad worldwide. Too may candidates are making their platform out of an anti-Obama tirade. Michele Bachman comes to mind, who was mentioned in El Diario/La Prensa (the largest Spanish largest daily in the US) as having, after Mitt Romney, the largest possibility of winning the GOP nomination. Heaven help us! She is so gaff prone that it scares me so bad I would rather see Obama in...I mean, the woman does not know her American history...and she brags about a John Wayne coming from her hometown, oddly named 'Waterloo'...which she has right except that the JW from Waterloo is not the star of the silver screen but rather a JW Gacy who screwed young men in Chicago and then chopped them up. No one, least of all all a Hispanic, wants a woman from Waterloo with a pyscho killer living down the road from her to be in the White House.
And the other candidates scare me as well, some simply for their lack of experience...or the fact that they quit the job they had to go on a campaign trail...
But on a positive note, there is one candidate in the GOP roster who has a good chance of getting that crucial 12 million votes: Ron Paul, who was listed as being in 4th back in November among the GOPers but has soared to second. He is a doctor (as was Che Guevara...apropos of doctors, and just to digress a bit...) and a former flight surgeon in the US Air Force...no draft dodger here.
His issues are spot on, with the economy at the top of the list. His district, in heavily Hispanic Houston-Galveston area of Texas, is doing very well. And of course, there is the big issue of immigration, which he is very realistic about. I say that in light of the fact that many think that to woo the Latin community they ought to go out and let in every last illegal and give them free this and free that. En absoluto; which translates as absolutely not. Those of us born here want to help our hermanos as much as we can, but we also have a respect for the law, and balance our desires in the light of reality. The US simply cannot let in everybody and their hermano...Nations have borders, whether they are between Texas and Mexico or Venezuela and Colombia. And people must work within the law or we would all just be stepping on each other. There is a problem with immigration to such an extent that it is not just illegals intruding into the realm of the anglo-sajone, but to the point that illegals are intruding upon their legal cousins and causing trouble in the ethnic communities in which they try to assimilate. And it cannot just simply go on.
That said, Obama is the only GOP candidate NOT endorsing the 'send 'em all back' mantra
or wishing to have an armed border.
Recently Obama visited Puerto Rico, in a veiled move to secure millions of votes - the boricua vote being the largest of any Spanish speaking voters. It may or may not work; the precedent for it is JFK, who gained a lot of support from that quarter, which has voted largely democrat ever since. That is how the likes of Charles Rangel stay in power here after all the scandals - bear in mind also he invests in the Dominican Republic, at least that is where he had his house which got him in trouble with the IRS.
The GOP seems to alienate many Latin voters, especially the likes of John McCain who after being against a border fence with Mexico is now supporting it and blaming the recent wild fires on illegal aliens; as if there were no other source of forest fires in the summer in Arizona. The Latin community was itself aflame at his remarks, which were rebutted by the likes of Fernando Escuelas here in NY on Radio Wado (1280 AM) on 21 June. It is one thing to be realistic about immigration - but another to fan the flames of rhetoric with unfounded accusations that target the Latin community - there has been enough of that lately, what with Casey Anthony trying to blame the death of her daughter on the maid, and the news reporter falsely crying rape and blaming non-existent Hispanics. That the GOP should join this chorus does not do much to secure 12 million votes.
What the GOP supporting Hispanic sees in this party is the pro-life stance, especially as over 10 million of those votes are Catholic; but was not JFK of that flock? And few people seem to know this, but Joe Biden is also a Catholic.
From perusing the Latin press, it would seem that the Latino vote is not set to go GOP - read Chris Canavan opining in El Diario/La Prensa on the 4th of July - and it is clear that the GOP, and its hardcore cousin the Tea Party, are not seen in a good light; he writes: "Al paracer, Bachman y sus aliados en el Tea Party prefieren ignorar la vision de Madison y, en su lugar, apoyar a una minoria en el congreso que promete detonar una bomba atomica si no consigue todas sus demandas." In plain English, it seems that Bachman and her mates in the Tea Party perfer to ignore Madison's ideas and replace them with their own, supporting a minority in Congress that will set off an atomic bomb if their demands are not met.
Of Democrats, who I personally see as much the same, I do not find such rhetoric in this or any other major Spanish language paper. Perhaps the fact that this paper is published in NY, along with a slew of others down to the freebies such as El Especialito - gives it a pro-Democrat slant; 11 out of 13 local reps are Democrats here, all or most long term incumbents. (12 out of 13 it was until Rep Weiner got caught with his pants down...)
And after such exposure Little Anthony got replaced by Bob Turner of the GOP, due in part to the Latino voters on Long Island.
Obama will not go as easily as Weiner; but whether he goes or stays I can guarantee will depend on the Latino vote. Which is not leaning towards the GOP lately, especially as Mitt Romney is in the lead. Romney, the son of a Mexican immigrant, well, technically, as his father was born in Mexico and came to the US at the age of five, is against most immigrants, as Albor Ruiz noted so well a few days ago in the New York Daily News - just in time to cast light on Romney's efforts to recruit the Latin vote in Florida. Today I heard this effort laughed at on 1280AM. So no wonder that in a room of 500 or so fundraisers last night at the Sheraton, right here in NYC with millions of Hispanics, there was not one to be found; the room was whiter than KKK meet in the deep south.
So with the far right of the GOP, or with the KKK, he may have made his mark. But he and most other GOP candidates these days are not wooing the 12 million.
It would behoove the GOP to choose the candidate(s) that will secure that for them, and Ron Paul is now the only choice.