“2015, Good Year for Hispanics / Latinos”
The man was an ordinary looking man, a working man by his looks and clothes. When asked in Spanish where he was from, he responded, “Tijuana.”
This was in New Hampshire, the other day. The man who asked the question in Spanish was former Florida governor Jeb Bush, almost-candidate for President, the responder a New Hampshire resident shaking Bush’s hand at a meet-and-greet-New Hampshire trip by Bush to try and do what his father and brother (Presidents 41 and 43) could not do, carry the important New Hampshire Presidential primary.
What was a Tijuana, Mexico man doing in New Hampshire? No idea, but it proves this writer’s assertion that Hispanics/Latinos, if not Mexican Americans live in every nook and cranny of the United States. Will Jeb Bush receive this man’s vote, assuming the man is registered? Yes. It is inconceivable that Jeb Bush won’t sweep Hispanic Republican votes and also make a huge dent in the general Hispanic voting public. That is not because he speaks Spanish well, but because his wife Columba is Mexican-born.
One need only look at new Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott who despite a reputation as an immigration reform firebrand did well with Texas Hispanics in last November’s election. He campaigned on more armed men at the border; he filed a law suit against President Obama’s immigration decrees and also sued against Obamacare. Despite all this his Hispanic vote was north of 40 percent.
Bush will do well because his wife would be the first Hispana in the White House just as Gregg Abbott’s wife is the first Hispana as Texas’ First Lady.
At the same time Bush’s fellow Floridian and former Florida state political leader, now U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is looking better and better in his nascent race for President that should formally become a Presidential campaign in coming weeks. Recent polls show Senator Rubio as having the highest percentage of favorability among Republicans; in other words, he appears to be everyone’s second choice.
That is good.
The status of the campaign presently is that Jeb Bush is crushing fund-raising. And the word is out that his large donors are being cautioned to keep their contributions to his fund-raising PAC to no more than one million dollars. Rumors published in the political blogs at Fox, the New York Times and Politico suggest that it might be possible that Bush will report raising up to $500 million by summer’s end. The rumors may or may not be true but if true, that would smash all fund-raising records.
Both men are hiring political pros left and right. They are cornering the best Republican pros. They are squeezing the market to the point that others running have to pick junior varsity professionals.
Word now comes that Rubio and 2012 nominee Mitt Romney have been having long phone conversations. Are Bush and Rubio – old friends — headed for a crash that might help others running?
The first answer, of course, is in the Constitution’s Article II that prohibits the electoral College from voting for two persons from the same state; to wit: the Electors shall…vote…for “two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state…” In other words they cannot be on the same ticket. That means only one can survive.
Considering, then, Bush’s ability to raise gobs of money and that money is the key to a national campaign and Rubio’s acceptability that is party wide, the safe prediction is that if Bush isn’t the nominee, Rubio has a real shot and at a minimum would be a running mate for any other Republican, than Bush, who might beat him out for the nomination.
Either way, Hispanics stand to win big. If Bush wins, he takes his Mexican-born and raised wife into the White House as well as his popular Mexican-looking son, newly-elected Texas Land Commissioner George Prescott Bush. If Rubio wins, no explanation is necessary and if he misses the nomination, he just might be the vice-presidential candidate and be able to run for President in the future with a decent chance of walking into the office.
This is shaping up as a good political year for Hispanics. On the Republican side — Bush’s family is in a good spot; Rubio and his family are in a good spot and, he is well-liked by a cross section of the Party. Additionally, there are two more Republican Hispanic Governors to throw into the mix, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval.
On the Democratic side, rookie Julian Castro, current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the former Mayor of San Antonio, has been mentioned as a favorite of Hillary Clinton as a potential running mate in 2016.
This is shaping up as a good political year for Hispanics, Latinos – Republicans and Democrats.
Contreras formerly wrote for Creators Syndicate and the New America News service of the New York Times Syndicate