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Obama strives for a break with history in battle for Latino votes



"Here's something you should only whisper," murmured the Republican political consultant. "Latinos will not vote for an African-American candidate, and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. ."

This sensitive issue was, unusually, dealt with head-on during this week's Democratic debate in Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. . Do you believe there's a pattern of Latino voters not voting for a black candidate, Obama was asked. "Not in Illinois," he shot back. "They all voted for me."

It was a smart answer. But while his experience in building a coalition in Illinois in 2004 may have won him that Senate race, it is unclear whether Hispanic voters in a national election will suspend disbelief and take the time to get to know Obama.

While polls have shown black voters moving from Hillary Clinton to Obama, no such movement has been detected among Latino voters. On the Democratic side, where most of them reside, they remain committed to the Clinton camp.

"When you're trying to move him up with Latino voters, he's a mystery man," said author and commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson, "and he's also an African-American."

Obama faces not only the spectre of Bill Clinton in his fight for Latino votes, but also that of influential Hillary supporters such as Antonio Villaraigosa Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. on January 23, 1953) is the mayor of Los Angeles, California. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. , the Latino mayor of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , the second largest city in the country. Villaraigosa has been on the campaign trail with Clinton, recently accompanying her to eat tacos for the cameras.

While Clinton has pulled in the support of many of the most important Latino political players in the south-west, one significant endorsement escaped her. The Culinary cu·li·nar·y  
adj.
Of or relating to a kitchen or to cookery.



[Latin culn
 Workers Union, the most powerful union in Las Vegas, with 60% Latino membership, has endorsed Obama. The union can boast organisational muscle, but will its Latino members toe the union line on Saturday?

The Obama camp, revelling in its rediscovered underdog status, believes its candidate can overcome most obstacles. "I understand there are historical patterns," said Obama's chief strategist strat·e·gist  
n.
One who is skilled in strategy.

Noun 1. strategist - an expert in strategy (especially in warfare)
strategian

market strategist - someone skilled in planning marketing campaigns
, David Axelrod David Axelrod can either be:
  • David Axelrod, a US based political consultant
  • David Axelrod, a musician
  • David B. Axelrod, a poet and educator
, "but there are also places where those patterns are broken."
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Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Jan 18, 2008
Words:330
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