John McCain

Quick '08 Update

- Continuing his world tour, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is in Jordan today with his recently repainted plane. (This time, you can see change in the air!) ABC's Jake Tapper has more details of the trip, which includes a press conference with Obama on his trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. Look for more questions regarding Obama's assessment of the surge to come up.

- For those looking for an interesting piece on how the Netroots is adjusting to Obama's candidacy, check out this Washington Post piece from Jose Antonio Vargas. As Simon explains:

"Think about it: Netroots was born at a time when the Democrats were in opposition, and it's learning how to be a force of good when the Democrats are in power -- and could have more power next year."

- Negating recent polls that reflect a European fondness of Obama, the WSJ's Washington Wire cites David Aaronovitch's column in The Times of London to show that their feelings are not likely to last.

- Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. John McCain is successfully breaking into the press cycle with speculation over whether he will soon announce his VP candidate. As Eric Kleefeld points out, McCain is set to meet with LA Governor Bobby Jindal tomorrow. Coincidence? For more on the VP stakes, check out Christina Bellantoni's piece in the Washington Times that features some advice from Simon on picking a VP:

"The single most important thing is it has to be somebody Barack Obama actually likes. This is the greatest battle of your life, and you should have someone you know and trust at your side."

- Whether or not Evan Bayh fits that particular mold is uncertain, though Chris Cillizza makes the case for him in The Fix. Andrew Sullivan also has a good roundup of the VP speculation - in addition to some devastating news about the latest Caped Crusader - over at The Daily Dish.

- The New York Times is defending its decision not to publish an oped "as submitted" from John McCain. The paper is willing to look at another version, but the McCain campaign isn't planning on submitting one.

- Since eyes will be following Bobby Jindal, it is worth mentioning that his state of Louisiana just asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling on the death penalty for child rape. (via SCOTUSblog)

- Hillary Clinton's donors are giving to Barack Obama, at least according to The Trail's Sarah Cohen and Matthew Mosk.

- Will the real Ron Burgundy please stand up?

NDN Influencing Debate

For years, NDN has been a leader on Hispanic issues, including comprehensive immigration reform and analysis of Latino demographic and voting trends. In the last few months, NDN has set out to make the argument that Hispanic and immigrant voters have become a critical voting bloc in the United States and will play a pivotal role this fall and in all future elections. Our arguments went public in a big way in late May as we released Hispanics Rising II, an in-depth, updated look at Hispanic demographic and voting trends and the critical role that the Hispanic community is playing in U.S. politics. Below are some of the articles relevant to our argument as well as Andres's presentation at NCLR's Conference in San Diego last week:

Latino turnout could hold key to White House - San Francisco Chronicle, by Tyche Hendricks, May 21, 2008

Obama closes in on Democratic nomination - Xinhua General News Service, by Yang Qingchuan, May 21, 2008.

Obama looks west in electoral map play - Politico, by Carrie Budoff Brown, May 27, 2008

Favorece voto latino a demócratas por tema de inmigración en EU - El Financiero, May 28, 2008

Obama woos key states with accent on Spanish - Financial Times, By Andrew Ward in Reno, Nevada, and Edward Luce in Washington, May 29, 2008

Group predicts record Hispanic turnout in next presidential election - Mashall News Messenger, by Bob Deans, May 29, 2008

Democratic Group Says Hispanic Voters Run to Democratic Party - Kansas City Infozine, by Christian A. Cheairs, May 29, 2008

Election 2008: Latino vote could be pivotal in Western states - San Jose Mercury News, By Frank Davies, May 29, 2008

El voto latino aumenta y se vuelve más demócrata - La Opinion, Pilar Marrero, May 29, 2008

Obama va por el voto hispano - CNN Espanol, May 29, 2008

Obama's E Pluribus Challenge - Rolling Stone, June 04, 2008

Obama leads in battle for Latino vote - Los Angeles Times, by Reed Johnson, June 06, 2008

Obama en busca del voto latino - La Opinion, by Pilar Marrero, June 06, 2008

Hispanics will be Obama's big challenge - Miami Herald, by Andres Oppenheimer, June 08, 2008

Spanish-language media key to victory with Latinos - Politico, by Gebe Martinez, June 10, 2008

El voto latino será crucial en 2008 - Univision, June 13, 2008

Shift on immigration could cost McCain - St. Petersburg Times, by Alex Leary and Wes Allison, June 21, 2008

The swing states of 2008 -, by Thomas F. Schaller, June 24, 2008

Obama, McCain make strong bid for Latino votes - San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, June 26, 2008

McCain, Obama battle for Hispanic votes - The Hill, by Roxana Tiron, June 28, 2008

Swinging for Latinos - New Mexico Independent, by Marjorie Childress, July 1, 2008

Hispanic voters gaining strength in key states - Associated Press, by Stephen Ohlemacher, July 2, 2008

McCain revs efforts to woo Hispanic voters - The Arizona Republic, by Dan Nowicki, July 10, 2008

POLITICS: Latinos expected to play key role in presidential election - North County Times, CA, by Edward Sifuentes, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama prepara un "llamado a las trincheras" durante un foro hispano - EFE News Service, Andres's interview with Maria Pena, July 13, 2008.

NPR: 'Bush Hispanics' Say Goodbye To GOP, by Jennifer Ludden, July 13, 2008

McCain woos Latinos, touts immigration votes - San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, July 15, 2008



Obama Up 8, 6 in Two New Important National Polls

The Washington Post has it 8 points, 50-42, The New York Times 45-39. Each poll has lots of information well worth reading. To see how this translates into the electoral college, visit the excellent map at Real Clear Politics. Remember that in a Presidential race, a 6-8 point victory is a landslide.

My favorite question, from the Post poll - "He Shares Your Values" - Obama 56-39, McCain 47-49. For the media, this should resolve once and for all this question of whether Obama can win the votes of people not like him. McCain is having a harder time reaching the American people than Barack, a remarkable achivement for this bi-racial candidate with a funny name.

For on more on the biggest story of the race so far - the suprising weakness of John McCain - see this recent post, which has links to other relevant stories.

Update 10am - TPM has a story detailing the Obama campaign's repudiation of some of the conclusions the Times reached in its story about the poll. 

Quick '08 Update

- John Heilemann draws an interesting parallel between the campaigns of U.S. Sen. John McCain and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton in his New York Magazine piece.

- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is about to deliver a speech in DC today on Iraq and Security. Watch it live on Obama's blog and check out this primer from the AP. This follows yesterday's speech to the NAACP Annual Convention, which Jake Tapper analyzed on Political Punch.

- Mark Thoma wonders what John McCain's plans for Social Security are given his recent statements.

- The MSNBC team at First Read notes that Mitt Romney might be higher on McCain's short list than was previously thought. (via Marc Ambinder)

- The WSJ's Washington Wire has two interesting posts: The first is a glimpse at how Latino bloggers are reacting to candidate outreach; and the second takes a look at how the McCain family will profit from the recent Anheuser-Busch deal.

- NDN plug: if you want a deeper look at the efforts of John McCain and Barack Obama in courting the Latino vote, NDN staff are posting from San Diego where the NCLR Conference is taking place.

- Lastly, in AdAge Evan Tracey goes over the campaigns' ad strategies in key states and outlines their metrics for success. Speaking of, check out Barack Obama's new ad, "America's Leadership":


“La Raza Cósmica”

San Diego, CA - "La raza cósmica" así se refirió Barack Obama al público Hispano a quién enfáticamente le dijo, "No se equivoquen: La comunidad Latina tiene estas elecciones en sus manos," durante la conferencia anual de NCLR. Sí, el voto Hispano tiene variaciones, es un voto crucial y los comentarios que yo escucho del público demuestran que - por primera vez - saben lo que valen. La gente aquí esta emocionada y cada vez les es más facil tener demandas y expectativas de los candidatos con respecto a los temas de importancia porque saben que su voto juega un papel más central en la política Estadounidense que en cualquier elección anterior. Como Andrés resaltó durante su entrevista con Maria Peña de EFE: el que se gane el apoyo de los Hispanos gana la Casa Blanca.

El uso de "la raza cósmica" implica que el Senador Obama entiende que la comunidad Hispana tiene una rica variedad de colores y creencias. El tema de inmigración sigue siendo la preocupación primordial de los que asisten a la conferencia, más que nada debido al impacto que tienen las redadas en la comunidad Hispana. Ayer también escuché a muchos elogiar al Sen. Obama por haber discutido temas además de inmigración en más detalle. El reto ya está - dado el poco apoyo que tiene la postura del Sen. McCain con respecto al tema de inmigración, se esperaba que su discurso se enfocaría en temas económicos y demás, en vez de inmigración. Sin embargo, el Sen. Obama le ganó -  ayer tomó la oportunidad para presentar una nueva propuesta para apoyar a pequeñas y medianas empresas a fin de que puedan pagar el gasto de seguro médico para empleados.  Además, se enfocó en temas de economía, educación, salud, veteranos de guerra, y recibió un enorme aplauso cuando atacó las redadas de inmigración, y además, criticó a John McCain por haber "abandonado su postura valiente" en cuanto al tema de la reforma migratoria.

Sin duda, le será dificil al Senador McCain superar este discurso. El Sen. McCain también ha reconocido las diferencias dentro del voto Hispano, y esta luchando para ganarse a Hispanos que son de políticas más conservadoras. Ambos candidatos siguen refinando su metodología - tal como comentado por Associated Press ayer, "como pretendientes incómodos," aveces ambos candidatos han manejado torpemente su acercamiento a Hispanos al acercarse de manera demasiado directa y racional, con una metodología de "llevame a tu líder." Pero a los Hispanos les gusta desarrollar relaciones más estrechas y personales. El Sen. Obama empezó su discurso ayer agradeciendo y reconociendo personalmente a activistas y defensores de inmigrantes, como a Enrique Morones de Border Angels, y a lo largo de su discurso apeló al corazón y "carácter de esta comunidad," haciendo que el público sintiera que aprecia sus valores, y que esos valores son valores Americanos. El Senador McCain es reconocido y respetado por la comunidad Hispana, pero para ganarse a estos votantes tendrá que: 1) tomar esta oportunidad única para demostrar coraje con respecto al tema de la reforma migratoria y distanciarse de su partido, y 2) demostrar que no ve a la comunidad Hispana meramente como votantes, o peor, como un bloque de votantes a ser ganados, sino que tiene que demostrar que nuestras luchas son sus luchas, que él también conoce el "gran corazón" de la comunidad y que sinceramente le importa luchar al lado de y como parte de la comunidad Hispana. El concepto de familia es un fundamento de la "raza cósmica," y el Sen. McCain tiene que hacer que esta comunidad sienta su deseo de ser parte de la familia primero.

GOP o nop?

La estrategia del GOP en cuanto a la comunidad latina no hizo sino causar un efecto contrario: ha empujado el voto latino hacia los demócratas. "En la comunidad latina hay una energía nueva increíble" dijo Simon Rosenberg- fundador de NDN- a NPR. Y esa energía, que sigue creciendo, se aleja más y más del GOP.

En pocas palabras, los resultados alienantes que causó la terrible estrategia anti-inmigrante del GOP dificultan la batalla para Mc Cain por el voto latino. Como si fuera poco, Mc Cain perdió muchos latinos al cambiar de estrategia cuando retiró su apoyo por el proyecto de ley McCain-Kennedy. Y en sus últimas apariciones en importantes eventos latinos (véase conferencia de NALEO y  LULAC), si es que menciona el tema de inmigración, solo se enfoca en el reenforzamiento de la frontera, evitando a toda costa mencionar reforma- algo que obviamente ya no está en sus planes.

Aquí en NDN, nuestro equipo de estrategia hispana estará reportando sobre la conferencia de NCLR en San Diego. Pero mi predicción es que la audiencia latina - a diferencia de como reacciona ante los discursos de McCain- recibirá una vez más a los discursos de Obama de pie.

(Para aquellos que leen en inglés, vean el blog de Simon relacionado a los cambios en la Florida.)

"La Raza Cósmica"

San Diego, CA - "The cosmic race," that is how Barack Obama referred to the Hispanic audience to whom he emphatically said, "Make no mistake about it: the Latino community holds this election in your hands," at NCLR's annual conference.  Yes, the Hispanic vote is a varied one, and a crucial one, and the comments I hear from the audience denote that - for the first time - they know it.  Folks here are excited and increasingly comfortable with having demands and expectations of candidates on the issues they care about because they know that their vote is more central to American politics than ever before.  As Andres noted in his interview with Maria Peña of EFE yesterday, whoever wins over Hispanics is assured to win the White House.

The use of the cosmic race denotes that Sen. Obama understands that the Hispanic community is one with a rich tapestry of cultures, colors, and beliefs.  Immigration is still by far the issue at the forefront on the minds of the attendees at this conference, mostly because of the impact of the ongoing immigration raids in the Hispanic community.  Yesterday I also heard many praise Sen. Obama for addressing a wider array of issues in more detail, in addition to immigration.  The challenge is on - it has been expected that given his current unpopular stance among Hispanics on immigration, Sen. McCain would focus rather on discussing economic and other issues of importance to this community during his address to NCLR.  Well, Sen. Obama seized the opportunity yesterday to beat him to the punch and introduce a proposed tax credit for small businesses providing health insurance to their employees, to discuss his plans for the economy, education, health care, veterans, and received thunderous applause as he attacked the impact of immigration raids on families, and he once again called out John McCain for having "abandoned his courageous stance" on immigration. 

It will be a hard act for Sen. McCain to follow, no doubt.  Sen. McCain has also recognized the differences within the Hispanic vote, and is working to appeal to more conservative Hispanics.  Both candidates are still refining their approach - as reported by the Associated Press yesterday, "like awkward suitors," both candidates have at times fumbled their approach to Hispanics by addressing members of the community too directly and rationally, with a "take me to your leaders" kind of tactic.  But Hispanics like to develop closer, more personal relationships.  Sen. Obama opened his speech by individually naming and recognizing several grassroots and immigrant rights activist in the audience, like Enrique Morones of Border Angels, and throughout his speech appealed to the heart and "character of this community," making the audience feel that he appreciates their values, and that those values are American values.  Sen. McCain is recognized and respected by the community, but to win these voters over he will have to:  1) take advantage of this golden opportunity to show courage on immigration and move away from his party on this, 2) show that he does not look at Hispanics as votes, or even worse, as a voting block to be convinced, he must show that our struggles are his struggles, that he also knows the community's "big heart" and that he genuinely cares about fighting alongside and as part of the Hispanic community.  "Familia" is a big foundation of the "raza cosmica", and he has to make this community feel his desire to be part of the family first.  

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