June 13, 2008


The Clinton Loss: from a Hispanic perspective

By now for those interested and who care, have read all the ana-lysts reports of what went wrong with the Hillary Clinton campaign for Presidency. 16 months ago it was considered a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party’s candidate for President, Barack Obama was a mere oddity at the time, so to see her campaign fail offers us an opportunity to dissect what went wrong.

From all the pundits, political media experts, and commentaries the overwhelming theory was that Hillary was not able to break away from her ties to the old guard/insider image and did not represent a true chance for change. Coupled with this, from the very outset, the Hillary campaign was running as if it was a campaign focused on the November election outreaching to middle America. This was obvious in her wishy-washy stance on the war in Iraq, where she did not embrace a troop pullout and stated that the troops need to stay for the sake of stability, after this the anti-war core of the Democratic Party started looking around for a champion to carry their cause.

These analysts are a broad perspective from a national point of view. At La Prensa we have a more local and symbolic view of went wrong with the campaign.

Early on in the race, the editors at La Prensa received a call from the Hispanic media outreach team from Team Clinton to arrange for interviews with Clinton’s Hispanic representative for California – Dolores Huerta.

Dolores Huerta is a great woman and was a great leader in the ‘60s, 70s, and ‘80s. She should be respected and her wealth of knowledge sought out and appreciated. There is no question as to the significance and impact that Huerta would have with any campaign. But we did question the role as Huerta representing today’s Hispanic. Huerta is a significant symbolic link to our past, but as to our future we wondered why not a younger, present day leader who reflects the future of the Hispanic community and, who could take advantage of the national exposure that a winning campaign would bring, much like Barack Obama did at the 2004 Democratic Presidential convention.

This in a nutshell was what was wrong with the Clinton campaign, a strong link with the past which did not reflect change or a new direction.

The Hispanic community, overwhelmingly, supported Hillary Clinton in this State’s primary and this paper endorsed her candidacy but it was not an easy choice. We endorsed Clinton because of what the Clintons had done in the past in supporting the Hispanic community; we are obligated to support those who support the Hispanic community. With Barack Obama we weren’t sure what we had, we knew he was a great speaker, but he had no track record with the Hispanic community.

With this said it was hard not to be drawn in by the presence of Obama; he was compelling and captivating at the same time and it was Obama’s vision for the future that won the voters over. Now the question is, does Obama’s vision for the future include the Hispanic community and in what form? We look forward to seeing what Obama’s vision for the Hispanic community entails; right now he is a little fuzzy on these details.

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