Yesterday Federico Peña endorsed Obama. It is funny how the Latino leadership isn’t throwing their support behind Bill Richardson, but I am haven’t been impressed with the recent comments from the New Mexico governor. Richardson’s comment about Iowa’s status as the first state to caucus being God’s will really turned me off. I guess that when the candidates get to the middle states, they being engaging in a “Who is more ‘Godly’ or faithful?” contest. Come on people, we are electing a president, not a Pope or Pastor in Chief.
I also think that it is interesting that Peña, having worked in two terms of the Clinton administration, is not backing Hillary Clinton. To me, this must say something about the perception that Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure. No doubt that she is qualified, but I, along with others, tend to believe that she will unite conservatives in the general election in launching one of the ugliest campaigns in history. Bill Clinton, who I think is very intelligent and much more personable than his wife, always was subject to so much hate. Imagine the level that Hillary will experience. I am also bothered that she has taken so much money from the pharmaceutical industry, but that is another post for another time.
Obama will also receive a boost this weekend with a fundraiser that Oprah is throwing at her Montecito estate. You know how Oprah has the ability to get her viewers to read books, buy products that she uses, etc. I can only think that this fundraiser will help expand Obama’s appeal. Of course, we Latinos don’t have an “Oprah.” I have heard some say that Cristina Saralegui is like our Oprah, but she isn’t as large of a media presence. And let’s face it. Most Anglo Americans probably don’t even know who Cristina is. I think that for many whites, watching Oprah at home in the comfort of their living room, is as close as they will get to “interacting” with a black person. Maybe if the Latino community had an ambassador like Oprah on network TV, the masses wouldn’t be so afraid of our growing presence.