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  1. #1
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Richardson urges Democrats not to ignore Hispanics

    Richardson urges Democrats not to ignore Hispanics

    By Richard Satran Fri Nov 4, 8:44 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the United States' only Hispanic governor, said on Friday Democrats should not take the Hispanic vote for granted and doing so may already have cost them the White House.

    Richardson, starting a national tour to promote his new book published on Friday, "Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life," which details his globe-trotting diplomatic missions and shortlisting as the Democratic vice presidential pick in the past two elections.

    Democratic candidates have enjoyed hefty majorities among Hispanic voters, but that will not always be the case, he said. Spanish-speaking
    President George W. Bush's campaign appeal to Latino voters on social issues cut into the majority, claiming some 44 percent in 2004, up from just a third for Republican candidates in past presidential elections.

    "The erosion of the Hispanic vote with the Democratic Party has been consistent in the last three elections," Richardson said, and in the last one it may have been fatal.

    "The Hispanic vote would have been important in states like Nevada and Arizona and New Mexico," he said. "If
    John Kerry had carried those states, he would have been president."

    Richardson said he was on a personal campaign to make those states "more than just flyovers" for political campaigners, and he wants more substantive Democratic efforts to woo Hispanics.

    Hispanics are the largest U.S. racial or ethnic minority, accounting for about 14 percent of the population. They are expected to account for 24 percent of the total U.S. population in 2050.

    "Democrats can't take this vote for granted," Richardson said. The party needs to talk "not just about civil rights" but about "a broad range of issues like jobs, small business and entrepreneurship."

    "They can't just focus on a few narrow issues and trot out the mariachi bands, like both parties have traditionally done," he said.


    A former U.S. congressman, energy secretary and ambassador to the
    United Nations, Richardson, 57, said he was "considering a presidential run."

    He has launched a campaign for a second term as governor, but will not commit to serving the four-year term if higher office intervenes. "I'm going to be having a conversation with my constituents where I'm going to be open and very candid about my plans and I may say to them that I am running for reelection and beyond that we will see," he said.

    The son of an American businessman and Mexican mother who was born in California and raised in Mexico City, Richardson is known as a maverick who at times takes contrarian positions.

    His recent declaration of a "border crisis" rankled some Hispanics.

    That "was popular with those who live near the border," he said, but "it was not so popular with Hispanic groups nationally." Still he said, he "had to do it" because of a growing crisis created by 12 million undocumented aliens. The Bush administration's commitment of 1,500 new border guards to the Southwest will ease the crisis, he said.

    In his book, Richardson tracks a public career that hit its zenith with highly publicized personal diplomacy that brought him face-to-face with
    Saddam Hussein and
    Fidel Castro and into the heart of
    North Korea's nuclear complex.

    Richardson visited North Korea in October and said he saw signs of change, after years of failure by U.S. policy-makers trying to keep the country from producing nuclear weapons.

    Richardson toured a nuclear facility and was "encouraged by the openness" of North Korean scientists and felt "a better mood toward Americans than at any time in 15 years of dealing with them."

    He attributes the new attitude toward a desire to expand the economy, and the growth of Chinese and South Korean investment.
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    The "Hispanic Vote" is a myth. Both parties need to focus on American's.

    It's a slap in the face to see them pandering to non-citizens who have no allegiance to this country.

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