Obama Seeks Latino Support During L.A. Visit
His arrival in this city is significant since almost half of Los Angeles County's 10 million residents are Latino or Hispanic, and Obama’s approval ratings among this demographic are at their lowest since he took office in 2008.
Back then, he secured 67 percent of Latino votes nationwide and 74 percent in California.
These votes helped Obama win key victories in states where the outcome was close, such as Florida.
Today, there is widespread concern among Latino communities that Obama has pushed their demands to the backburner.
He failed to deliver on his promises from the last campaign, especially immigration reform. Obama was unable to push through a nation-wide DREAM Act, which would have given legal citizenship to millions of currently illegal minors in the country.
Despite attempts to emphasize that the problem lies not in his negligence but attempts from the GOP to prevent him from carrying out his goals, Obama still has witnessed a slide in popularity along with many people voicing their doubts over his commitment to the fastest growing segment of the population.
Perhaps the most telling sign of Obama’s loss of appeal is the lack of support from Latino leaders.
During the 2008 campaign, California state senators Gloria Romero and Gilbert Cedillo, along with other prominent Latino figures, announced their support of Obama loudly and publicly, encouraging others to vote for the president-to-be.
This time around, however, there seems to be a lack of vocal support. Criticism of Obama’s track record feature much more prominently than favorable comments online, and the calls for hope and change from his historic 2008 campaign have been muffled in the eyes of many Latinos, discouraged by four years without immigration reform.
Hosted by Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith and co-sponsored by the Austin-based the Latino support group FuturoFund, the event cost between $5,000 and $35,800 to attend.
This sort of expensive, exclusive event is more focused on raising money and attention, not trying to connect with the vast majority of Latino voters.
Obama’s record breaking fundraising for the upcoming campaign makes such elbow rubbing unnecessary and a bit presumptuous.
Perhaps it would be better for Obama to spend his time in Los Angeles with those who have felt the effects of his decisions rather than movie stars.
Hopefully the president will not forget that he must keep his promises to retain the support of the American people, regardless of background.
To reach Staff Reporter Jaspar Abu-Jaber, click here.
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