Obama Keeps Offering Latinos The Same Promises

This won’t surprise anyone in the Latino community: the past three years have been tougher than most.

Unemployment among Latinos is stuck at 11%.  A high number of Latinos have lost their homes. Hopes for a comprehensive immigration reform have gone unfulfilled and a record number of immigrants were deported this past year. Reports indicate that the great recession affected (and continues to affect) Latino children more than others. All of these things happened during Barack Obama’s watch at the White House.

Now stack these realities and shove them against the rapidly approaching presidential election, and you’ve got a reasonably panicked Obama campaign.

It’s no wonder the president was in Los Angeles this past week. One third of the population of California is Latino;  LA has the second highest concentration of Latinos in the country. According to the most recent poll Obama’s approval rating among Latinos is down to 49% from a high of  67% when he was voted into office. That’s a hefty 18% drop. The president knows he’s got to do something to motivate the disillusioned Latino electorate, and he’s got little to stand on.

The president is in full campaign mode these days, and he took his road show to where it would have the greatest impact. It’s not that he needs to win over new supporters, he needs to motivate and convince his past supporters to give him another chance. The New York Daily News painted a succinct picture:

Hispanic voters could prove pivotal next year, especially in fast-growing and contested states such as FloridaNew Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

Obama has said his jobs agenda would help Hispanics in the construction industry and provide tax breaks for small businesses. On immigration, he has targeted violent criminals for deportation and urged Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

The president’s problem is that those accomplishments translate poorly to the daily lives of most Latinos. And stuck where they are, most Latinos look to the 2012 presidential election as an exercise in dismal choice.

They can continue to support President Barack Obama despite being hurt disproportionately by the economic downturn or turn to Republicans at a time when many GOP presidential hopefuls have taken a hard line on immigration.

While he was at it, the president made the obligatory rounds among the Hollywood faithful funders: celebrities and big shots. He made a guest shot on the Jay Leno Show and rubbed elbows with movie stars at an event at Antonio Banderas’ house. Not that any of that will improve his support among Latinos. It will, though, improve the level of his campaign war chest.

The very stark truth is that all Obama has to offer Latino voters is another set of promises – many of them the same promises he made three years ago. What he’s hoping is that whoever the GOP nominates to run against him will be so unacceptable to Latinos that they’ll return to him come election day. So far none of the Republican presidential hopefuls have sparked the slightest bit of support among Latinos, that’s not Obama’s problem. What the president needs to concern himself about is whether Latinos will go to the polls at all.

As it stands most Latinos feel, as the LA Times put it, disheartened at the President’s record. You get the feeling he’ll be making more trips to the Latino community in the months to come.

[Photo Courtesy Allison Harger]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]