Friday, April 27, 2012

Conservative Arizona In Obama Sights; Hispanics Are Key, Plus: A Letter From Paris 

Arizona? Yep. Arizona. Who would have thunk it? The president is making a play for our neighbor's usually conservative electoral votes. The latest polling:

While the Obama campaign opted not to challenge native son John McCain there in 2008, a February PPP poll found the President in a dead-heat with Romney among Arizona voters. Obama will be helped by the 63% increase in voting-eligible Hispanics since 2000, as well as the presence on the ballot of Hispanic U.S. Senate candidate - and former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona..

Well, it really should not come as a shocker to those of us around here. The entire Southwest is going Brown. We have long been a "majority-minority" state and not so far in the future so will Arizona. The R's need to lighten up and start courting these new voters rather than driving them away with harsh rhetoric.


And instead of her "all illegal driver's licenses, all the time" policy kick, polling says Governor Martinez is best advised to stick to beating her education drum:

One issue that is disproportionately important to Hispanic voters is education. A January 2008 Pew study showed a majority (51%) of Latino adults nationwide named education as an "extremely important" priority for the new Obama administration, trailing only the economy (57%). And in a November 2011 Univision poll of likely Latino voters, the top-rated concern among all respondents was, "our kids are not getting the quality education they need." The level of concern for education was almost identical among Latino Democrats (36%), Republicans (36%) and independents (37%).

The poll also shows what most Dems in NM already know--immigration policy is not a top priority issue for Hispanics. If Martinez and her political team think she is making headway with the overall electorate over their driver's license obsession, they are smoking the funny weed with Gary Johnson. But they are going to know it come November when the thousands of dollars they dump into mailers over the issue in state legislative races fails to move the needle.

Hey, go ahead and learn the hard way, Guv. It's your dime.


Look, we don't think Susana Martinez is a serious contender for VP.  Never have. And said it right out of the starting gate. But the mainstream media seems to have forgotten how to play this game.

One of the Washington scribes says Martinez has made an "immutable" decision not to accept the VP position. That was based on Martinez's statement that she could not be vice-president because her sister in Las Cruces is developmentally disabled and that moving her to DC would be "devastating."

No doubt that is a pretty firm statement of not wanting the job but it is not immutable or "ironclad" as the journalists would have it. Why don't the mainstream scribes just ask Martinez and the other VP contenders for Shermanesque" statements? If they give one, they're out. If not, then consider them still playing.

Along the Seine
It's unseasonably cool and windy here in Paris and only in the last day has the rain let up after what locals tell us has been several weeks of daily downpour. How New Mexicans would welcome a weather streak like that.

As you may have heard, the European economy is also especially cool right now. But who would know it in Paris, where tourists flock to this grand city from across the globe. They jam the brasserie, cafes and museums like the Musee d'Orsay, seen behind me in in this photo taken along the Seine.

Like our New Mexico, Europe offers one the long perspective. Ancient treasures on display in the Louvre remind one of your fleeting time here. Youths of every imaginable ethnic background frolic with delight as they discover the greatness of the city. Through them we hear the footsteps of the future.

The old order continues to give way to a new one of more diversity and, yes, more uncertainty. What's to come economically and politically has rarely seemed less predictable, but come it will.

You can choose to find either pessismism or optimism in the sweeping display of history seen in old Europe. Certainly, a measure of comfort can be taken in the centuries of continuity that come to life here. They reveal a steady march of human progress, even as the anguish that accompanied it is also never far from your sight.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Thanks for stopping by this week. Back in the USA on Monday,

Reporting to you from Paris, I'm Joe Monahan

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

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