The Chron E-Board still reads Commentary and that has to be a good thing. Commentary is just going to lay out what the Chron E-Board had to say today on the Latino vote. It is an interesting take that concerned folks should slowly digest:
Addressing his people in October 1939, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of Russia as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."
Nearly three-quarters of a century later, the statesman’s World War II-era formulation can be applied to a very different and modern political subject: the Hispanic vote in the 2012 presidential election. With apologies to Churchill, it, too, is a riddle, a mystery and an enigma. It’s also a significant electoral prize; one being ardently pursued by both major parties.
The riddle: Is there really such a thing as a homogenous, straight-party Hispanic vote?
The mystery: Why do Hispanics as a group so dramatically under-perform their vast demographic potential at the polls?
The enigma: Which major party will claim this prize? Or will both?
Chronicle readers received an up-close and personal view of this dilemma/opportunity, via separate Sunday profile stories on two very different Hispanic-Texan politicians – GOP U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
Both men are considered rising stars in their parties. Speaking in prime time Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, Cruz shone brightly, sparking comparisons with GOP icon Ronald Reagan. Castro will have his moment to shine when he delivers the keynote speech to the Democratic convention in prime time next week in Charlotte, N.C., filling the speaking slot that launched Barack Obama in 2004.
But that is where the similarities end. Cruz and Castro promote political positions that are as unalike as black beans and menudo.
Cruz, 42, is a tea party conservative who sprang from obscurity to defeat the GOP establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in July’s Republican primary runoff. The Houstonian, a former Texas solicitor general and college debate champion, is the son of a Cuban immigrant father and attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
Castro, 37, the son of a single mother, has a twin brother, Joaquin, a Texas legislator running for Congress. The Castro brothers both attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School. As mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro has dealt with the nitty-gritty issues confronting a growing bicultural city.
Both Cruz and Castro can lay fair claim to a fully pedigreed Hispanic birthright, as well as a place at the center of the battle to win this electoral prize for their respective parties.
But it is far from clear that there is a definable "Hispanic vote" in the sense that there is, for example, a unified African-American vote that can be counted upon by Democrats in good times and bad.
Rather, there are expanding millions of Latino voters with vastly different geographic, educational, cultural, racial and economic backgrounds. Cuban lawyers and bankers. Mexican-American entrepreneurs. Sixth-generation Latino ranchers and farmers all across Texas. Devout traditional Roman Catholics and growing numbers of evangelical Christians. Non-believers, too.
Hispanic-Americans proudly defy the stereotypes others would place on them. And therein lies the challenge for both parties in pursuit of Hispanic/Latino support. This is not a homogenous group. Far from it.
But first things first. If Hispanics are to gain political power to match their demographic heft, voter turnout must improve. It is notoriously low, and for as long as it remains so, the myth of Hispanic political power will remain just a dream.
Convincing evidence of that is as near at hand as Houston’s U.S. House District 29, created after the 1990 census as a Hispanic district. Since that beginning, the district seat has been held by Rep. Gene Green, an Anglo with strong ties to the Hispanic community, but a gringo, nonetheless. This is the proof that creating a Hispanic district requires more than redrawing political boundaries.
Meanwhile, younger rising Hispanic stars – Republican and Democrat – are continuing to make their presence known in Texas and across the nation. The highest political profile in Texas or anywhere else surely belongs to George P. Bush, grandson of President George H.W. Bush and nephew of President George W. Bush, who is the GOP state party’s finance chairman. But he is only one of many.
The most basic act of leadership these young worthies can perform will be in bringing greater numbers of Latinos to the nation’s ballot boxes. Till that is done, the dreams will remain elusive. The Hispanic vote will continue to be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
How many MLB clubs have never won a World Serious and name them please?
Speaking of riddle me this, the Trib has a piece today on the Lone Star State GOP going after a share of the Latino vote.
Check it here.
The Trib also has a piece on some GOP delegates wanting Guv Dude and the Lite Guv to retire.
Check it here.
Eight MLB teams have never won the World Serious and they include the Padres – 2 appearances (1984, 1998), Rockies – 1 appearance (2007), the ‘Stros – 1 appearance (2005), Nationals/Expos- 0 appearances, Rangers/Senators- 2 appearances (2010, 2011), Mariners – 0 appearances, Rays- 1 appearance (2008), and Brewers- 1 appearance (1982).
The Rocket will pitch in Skeeterville on September 7.
Last night I witnessed Hunter Pence blast a three-run dinger and then watched us lose numero 90 for the season. Again only 13,000 and showed up last night.
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