Senator Hillary R. Clinton had a commanding advantage over Obama when it came down to the Latino vote. Will Obama’s pick of Senator Joe Biden as running mate help or hurt to make up lost ground with this crucial demographic?
Sen. Biden puts values before politics. Latinos love that. We want to know what people stand for and want them to be consistent – always. Sen. Biden stressed values in his Springfield, Illinois rally today and will probably help Obama push values as well.
Sen. Biden is Catholic. Latinos are overwhelmingly Catholic in the US and worldwide. The role of organized religion in politics can not be overlooked. It was a huge moment in the previous election when John Kerry was denied the Eucharist during a Catholic service. The news services mentioned this but they gave the Church a free pass and did not investigate the GOP’s role in influencing that decision.
Sen. Biden has a long record of supporting organized labor. He comes from a working class background that is familiar to many Latinos. We love voting for pro-labor candidates.
Delaware is not located in a Latino hot zone. Although Sen. Biden has served for six terms in the Senate, this service record is not well known in places like Florida or the Southwest. It is much easier to support someone for VP when you have already voted for him/her in a previous election.
- New "Brand"
Latinos are very "brand conscious" when it comes to consumer goods and that also applies to political choices. We favor things that are familiar, tried and true. We know "Kennedy," "Clinton", "Schwarzenegger", and even "Bush," — but not "Biden."
Sen. Biden’s stance on immigration and undocumented workers is fuzzy. He voted for Social Security for the undocumented but voted for the border wall. I figure there is some approach to his decision making on those issues, but it is not clear.
There is a dichotomy for Latinos on this Immigration issue since many of us our either immigrants or children of immigrants but we also believe strongly in the rights and privileges of citizenship.
So after adding up the Pros and Cons, I believe that Senator Joe Biden will be able to help the Obama Express make up some ground with Latinos.
But to make his presence most effective, the campaign will have to spread the Biden brand to key states like Florida and New Mexico where a few Latino votes in either direction can be a deciding factor in choosing our next President and VP.