As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants--specifically Hispanics-- by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I fear that people will continue to exploit our racial differences--and place blame on others not like them . We all know the real culprit -- the disastrous economic policies of the Bush Administration!From the New York Times this morning:
As the nation’s only Hispanic governor, Mr. Richardson could become a champion for Mr. Obama among Hispanic voters, who have been a key voting bloc for Mrs. Clinton in the primaries thus far. And his endorsement is also notable because he is a friend and admirer of Mrs. Clinton, and was widely viewed as a possible running mate for both her and for Mr. Obama.That speech earlier in the week which to many of us felt to be courageous, historic and moving - but failed to move many a television, press or online political pundit - seems to have been a catalyst in the New Mexico Governor's endorsement. I assume there might have discussions as to a possible Vice Presidential nod as well even if I don't necessarily see an Obama - Richardson ticket down the line.
A note: In his endorsement the Governor calls himself "a Hispanic." Sure, I have people describe themselves as Hispanic or of Hispanic background but I have never heard someone call himself "a" Hispanic. Perhaps it's a regional thing?
Reminds me of a national gathering of Latino LGBT leaders in which levels of tension rose on whether we should describe the community as being Latino or Hispanic with left people evenly divided between Northerner Latinos and Southerner Hispanics (we avoided a civil war by ultimately using both terms).
The New York Times might be right. Richardson's endorsements might bring in additional support for Obama from Lati.. - ehem - Hispanic voters in the primaries and caucuses ahead. And that's my hope. But I have a feeling that the impact of the Richardson endorsement will be regional rather than national when it comes to the Latino/Hispanic community, much like his appeal as a presidential candidate to specific Latino communities throughout the United States.
In any case, thank you, Bill Richardson.