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Could frustration with the White House make Latinos sit out 2012 election?

LatinaLista — There’s no denying that President Obama and his staff are under a lot of pressure these days. Seeing all the hoops Republicans are making him jump through while they deliver the party’s standard stall strategy — making people think they’re going to do something when they really have no intention of following through — can’t help but make me want to say to the President, “Welcome to our world.”


Ever since it dawned on political parties that Latinos could be a game-changer in elections, speech after speech, promise after promise, have been thrown our way to make us believe that the Latino viewpoint was not just valued when it came to creating policy but could be included — that has yet to happen.

Today, as I watch the livestreaming of the first day of the Hispanic Policy Conference being held at the White House, I can’t be too enthusiastic. Just from a web-watcher perspective, it seems to be more one-sided — White House administration officials trotting into the room explaining their areas of oversight and current policies to a wide variety of Latino community leaders.

Though the organizers of the summit want questions — and good questions were asked and observations made — the trouble with summits like these is that while the White House tries to be inclusive by inviting people representing different areas, not everyone has the same learning curve. Therefore, there are multiple missed opportunities when asking the hard questions that need definitive answers.

So, in other words, while this makes good livestreaming, it doesn’t (at least on this first day) signal any kind of substantial change in how the White House responds to Latino demands now playing a part in the frustration level with the White House.

It’s a frustration that the White House is aware of given the Gallup poll cited in mainstream media showing Latino support for Obama has plummeted 30 percent — down from 73 percent in December 2009 to 52 percent in June 2011.

Yet, in all fairness, Latinos still remain one of Obama’s largest group of supporters. That fact alone means that Latino voters will most probably help Obama win in the 2012 election, just not by the margins he had before.

He could have those same margins again, and in fact, triple them, if he and his campaign would only do one thing — remember who galvanized the Latino vote for Obama in 2008.

Once he and his staff remember then he might be on his way to alleviating some of the frustration that right now is compelling many Latino voters to decide if a trip to the polls is worth it for them.

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