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It’s time to create true change in Latino political leadership

LatinaLista — The Obama administration is ushering in a new political era by holding politicians to a higher standard. Yet, the Latino community must seize our own political destiny by enforcing today the kind of change needed to create tomorrow’s Latino leaders.
News of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s withdrawal as the commerce secretary-designate was a major disappointment to those in the Latino community who were counting on having one more “voice” in Obama’s inner circle.
Yet Richardson’s actions, along with past disappointments of high-profile Latino politicians, is leading people to realize that the practice of politics may have a long way to go before the change Obama promised during his campaign happens.
It’s good to see that there has been some movement towards the promised change. We only have to look at the demands of the incoming Obama administration on their current crop of cabinet and White House nominees. Setting a high political bar that requires everyone to be accountable and transparent in the handling of their professional and personal relationships, Obama’s administration is setting the example for all politicians who insist on playing by the old rules of pretending to be ignorant about what happens on their watch.
Since this is only the beginning of the next four years, no one wants to start off on the wrong foot. So, in that light, it’s not surprising that Richardson would rather jump ship and clear his name before subjecting himself as the first “example” of the new political era.
Smart move.
Had he waited to admit that there was something more than just a common grand jury inquiry into contracts awarded to political donors, Richardson would not only have garnered the despise of the Latino community, who tirelessly advocated for his cabinet nomination, but he would have committed his own political suicide amid a changing Capitol Hill landscape.
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    January 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm

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