Friday, August 24

On NPR's "Tell Me More" -- Obama's Miami-Herald Op-Ed

I’ll be talking about Obama’s Miami Herald op-ed, the Univision debate and other political subjects. Read more here.

Update: You can check out Michelle Martin's Tell Me More blog right here. I had a great time talking with Michelle, as always! I believe the audio will be available online around noon.


Crossposted on my blog.

You can listen to the audio clip of the segment of Tell Me More.

Tell Me More, August 24, 2007 · In this week's political chat, Bloggers Marisa Trevino, of, and Josue Sierra of discuss Sen. Barack Obama's pronouncements on Cuba policy, which White House hopefuls are confirmed to attend a fall presidential forum sponsored by the Spanish-language television network, Univision and, overall, what the candidates must do to appeal to Latino voters.
On the subject of Obama's Miami Herald op-ed, and the Cuba embargo, check out for real good analysis of the South Florida community and voting trends. I pretty much voiced Henry Gomez's perspective on Obama's op-ed ( I learn from the masters on the subject, since I haven't lived in Miami for quite a few years now).

I just realized that the strategy is not about getting Cuban-Americans to vote for the Democratic candidate next November, it's about getting Cuban-American Democrats to vote for Barack Obama in the Florida primary in January. Obama has staked out a position that differentiates himself from Hillary Clinton who is the front runner and therefore being more cautious in her approach.

Henry is predicting that Hillary has the campaign in the bag. I'm no political science expert, but it does seem that way to me as well.

The dialoguero Cuban-Americans will vote for the candidate that represents most change from the current policy. If they perceive that that's Obama, they'll vote for him. But in November you can't lose votes you never had. Hard-liners and Republicans aren't going to vote for Clinton or Obama anyway so it's a smart move on Obama's part but as I said, Clinton has this thing in the bag.

Matt Lewis thought this was a gaff by Obama
, but reading Henry's perspective, as well as today's The New York Sun's op-ed in response to Obama, I would have to disagree. I don't think its going to help him in South Florida, but it certainly was better than nothing -- it will get him a few more Democrat votes and it certainly got him some airtime.

Mr. Obama's debate remarks might have been an accidental blunder, but it's harder to pass off an op-piece under the candidate's byline as some sort of gaffe. On a trip to South Africa last year, Obama said that the struggle against apartheid there was an inspiration for his own political career. As the Cuban Liberty Council said in a statement this week, it's too bad Mr. Obama doesn't see the parallel between the struggle for democracy in Cuba and the one in South Africa, where economic sanctions helped bring about historic change of the sort that is dreamed of by Cubans from Miami to Havana.

Henry broke down the
FIU poll of Cuban-Americans -- read it here.

That was comment on another post about Obama's strategy to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton. As I analyzed that situation I realized that Obama's advisers probably used data from that FIU poll of Cuban-Americans to devise the strategy. They noticed one of the "disconnects" in the data.

He has more here as well.

So the Democrats have their work cut out for them. In my opinion, they need to fight the natural tendency for the recent arrivals to somewhat change their views over time, they need to get them their citizenship faster, convince them to register to vote, and then go against the trend of registering Republican and finally getting them to vote for a Democratic candidate. Could it happen? Sure. I'm not holding my breath.

"El Conductor" said it best.