LatinaLista — Before New Mexico Governor, and former Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Richardson officially endorsed his one-time opponent Barack Obama today in Portland, Oregon, the blogosphere and the mainstream media were questioning his motives.
The Clinton campaign just dismissed the endorsement as “insignificant.”
Yet, in light of his own state voting for Clinton over Obama, Richardson’s endorsement of Obama was the right thing, and some might even say predictable action, for this former candidate to follow.
Yet anyone who really knows Latino voters, realizes that Richardson’s endorsement alone won’t sway Latinos to cast their votes for Obama.
If that was the case, Richardson would still be in the race.
For whatever reason, Richardson, while he was running for office, didn’t resonate with voters â€” of any ethnicity. The Latino majority gravitated towards either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
Some have tried to answer that question, and maybe out of political correctness they haven’t been honest in answering it. But after talking to enough Latinos across the country, two basic facts emerged: 1. The country’s populace, especially ethnic voters, are desperate for change in national leadership. 2. A female or “distinct” person of color represents and embodies that change on a variety of levels more so than a man who looks like every other male candidate.
So, it’s no wonder that Clinton or Obama has garnered such attention. Are people really looking at experience? Yes, but only as a secondary qualification. The first is how much of a statement can be made by electing a “different” candidate.
After watching Richardson’s endorsement today, I have to seriously wonder if he had grown his beard earlier if that would have made a difference in him getting noticed by the people and the media? As shallow as it sounds, it’s a fair question.
After all, this election is all about change.
But at the same time, it’s about bringing people together â€” and that’s why Richardson’s endorsement makes perfect sense.
One thing that Richardson was consistent about throughout his campaign, and continually figures in how he conducts his political life, is that he wants to be seen as a politician who unites people.
With Obama’s rallies, it has been clear that a cross-section of voters attend: young, old, white, black, Latino, Asian, etc. Unfortunately, Clinton’s rallies lack that same diversity in significant numbers all at one rally.
For a man who practices bringing peace to hard-hit areas of the world, and scolds his own party for dividing its electorate, especially over recent events, it’s not a big surprise that Richardson would put aside his allegiance to his old friends the Clinton’s and endorse Obama if there is a chance to unite, not just the party but the whole nation.