Weeks before Barack Obama won the presidency, he met privately in Washington with his former Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and Latino political leaders who had fervently backed her bid.Then, she says that Latinos pushed Obama over the top; I'll wait for a reliable source.
The cards were laid upon the table, according to one of the participants. The Hispanic leaders said they expected at least two Latinos to be named to an Obama Cabinet — meeting the standard set by President-elect Bill Clinton in 1992 — but preferred three. Of course, they also wanted sub-Cabinet-level posts.
...Cecilia Munoz, vice president of National Council of La Raza, said, “It’s a foregone conclusion that we should be at the table for policy debates and in a position of authority, " because Hispanics are affected by major issues facing all voters. Latinos will be prominent in an Obama administration "just as we would be in any administration moving forward," she added.
...Any diminishment of the Hispanic presence in today's society and politics "would be a colossal mistake," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. "Latinos have demonstrated they can have an impact."
...Before the election, two dozen groups that make up the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda turned over to Obama and John McCain policy recommendations that included adding more Hispanics to the federal workforce, increasing Hispanic political appointments and naming more Latinos to the federal bench.
The coalition will be collecting resumes to submit to Obama's transition team. "It behooves us to not just suggest that the administration hire Latinos. We need to also provide good candidates," said Peter Zamora of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
NALEO's Vargas worries that, early on, the only names usually mentioned for possible appointment to the Obama administration are New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Obama's Hispanic adviser Federico Pena — two Democrats who previously served in the Clinton administration.
...[Raul Yzaguirre] said he and others addressed that issue frankly with Obama at their meeting several weeks ago. "We said, ‘Look, if you are going to see us as late-comers, that's not going to work. If you see us as partners from here on, we will have a good relationship.' And he said he welcomed our support," Yzaguirre said...
Fri, 11/07/2008 - 09:54 · Importance: 9