LatinaLista — As one part of the White House staff struggles to put together contingency plans in case Republicans and Democrats can’t come to a consensus on a budget to keep the government from shutting down Saturday morning, another part of the White House staff is clearly focused on the election of 2012.
In fact, they’ve already made clear their strategy: reach out to black and Latino youth.
According to David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign advisor, the reason why they’re focusing on minority youth is because “the drop-off in minority voting from 2008-2010 was a key reason Democrats suffered such steep losses in the midterm elections.”
I don’t know if this strategy will be successful among black youth but it’s a given the strategy won’t work this time around with the majority of Latino youth who have become disillusioned with the Obama Administration’s commitment to immigration reform.
As I posted in an earlier commentary:
While Obama and his campaign know that Latinos turned out for him in record numbers, he and his campaign have either forgotten or turned a blind eye to the fact that a good many of his Latino and Latina volunteers were young people who were either undocumented, friends of undocumented or putting in time believing that Obama would be different when it came to prioritizing the DREAM Act and immigration reform.
If Axelrod thinks immigration reform is an issue of an older Latino generation, he nor anyone else on the re-election campaign must read any of the Latino blogs, like Latina Lista, that explain exactly where this administration is failing with Latino youth/voters.
It doesn’t help the administration’s reelection bid among Latinos when stories like the one in Bloomberg News that surfaced reporting how the White House urged lawmakers, by calling some up, and telling them to not participate in a campaign led by Latino Democrats to block deportations involving U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.
“If it’s perceived that the White House is trying to hush up people for standing up for immigrants, that could have a significant backlash in 2012,” said Matt Barreto, a pollster at the University of Washington in Seattle. “Latinos are not going to vote Republican for sure, but they aren’t going to be enthusiastic for the Democrats.”
The promise for hope and the promise of change won’t work this time to motivate and excite a Latino constituency. It will take more, much more — like a beginning action that doesn’t just exemplify how badly this party wants Latino votes but that he can finally be a leader on this issue.