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Bill Clinton Woos Hispanics

On Thursday, Channel 08 reported that Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) was a guest on the immensely popular Spanish radio program "Piolín por la Mañana," to speak about his support for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

On Friday, former President Clinton was a guest on the same program, speaking with host Eddie "El Piolín" Sotelo to advocate for his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Clinton indulged his audience when prompted about the influence of the Hispanic vote, saying it will "determine the nominee of the Democratic Party and the next president of the United States." In states with large Hispanic populations that have already voted, Hispanics backed Clinton by about 2 to 1. The Hispanic vote, which varies widely in terms of geographic location, nationality and values, will be a key demographic casting ballots in several of the 24 states voting on Feb. 5.

The former president said that his wife's greatest assest is "a lifelong compassion for all kinds of people and the abilty to turn that compassion into action that makes other peoples' lives better." Bill Clinton went on emphasize Sen. Clinton's work on behalf of the Hispanic community, beginning as a law student registering voters among underrepresented Hispanic and African-American populations and continuing through her service in the U.S. Senate, where he said his wife had advocated for comprehensive immigration reform since 2004.

"She was passionately involved with [immigration reform] as nearly as I can tell before anyone else running," Clinton said.

The potential for immigration policy reform under a new administration is of particular interest to Sotelo, who entered the country illegally, working low-wage jobs and collecting aluminum cans for recycling before he earning his green card. Bill Clinton described his wife's legislative agenda on this issue as one that keeps families together through support of measures such as the DREAM Act, which would allow high school students who are illegal immigrants and want to attend college or enlist in the military a route to eligibility for legal status and to obtaining loans. He said she also wants to strengthen border control for national security, provide a path to citizenship and immediate legal status to undocumented immigrants who register -- and to set up a process for legalizing the status of seasonal agricultural workers, a policy he called "balanced and fair and humane."

When asked about his influence if he returns to the White House, the former president said, "It will be [Hillary's] office, and she'll make all the decisions."

Clinton was pushed to explain how his wife could succeed in the immigration policy overhaul when the current administration has failed. He said that while President Bush faces low approval ratings, encouraging members of his own party to increasingly break with him, while Sen. Clinton, he argued, would have the ability to reach out to members of Congress in both parties.

At the end of the program, Sotelo told his listeners enthusiastically that Sen. Clinton invited him to broadcast a show from the White House.

"I don't make many commitments on her behalf, but she'll do a broadcast for you," the former president said.

You can listen to the entire program here.

-- Ilene Rosenblum

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  February 3, 2008; 6:05 PM ET Campaign Trail , Hillary Rodham Clinton
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That Hispanics will choose the next US president must be make the mouth breathers on this board crazy.

Posted by: DC | February 4, 2008 9:38 AM

As hispanics they don´t need Mrs Clinton ´s compassion,because they need as a community are best jobs,improving their standard of life,feeling that are part of the heart of that great nation;that their children will have opportunities in life,and real hope of development as real american´s citizens.
Sen. Kennedy and former President Clinton, have emphasized now their support, and admiration for hispanic communities...Will it be true or or it´s only a politic strategy for getting votes?

Posted by: jorge covarrubias ramirez | February 4, 2008 9:47 AM

MEMO: New Information
To: Interested Parties
From: Mark Penn, Chief Strategist
Date: Sunday, February 03, 2008
Re: New Information

Just yesterday I noted that people had very limited information on Sen. Barack Obama as we go into millions of people voting on the two candidates.

And then in the last two days we see three stories that illustrate the point very clearly about what Sen. Obama says about his views and record and what journalists find when they dig into the facts:

1) The New York Times on its front page explains how Sen. Barack Obama told voters he stood up to the nuclear power industry and how he passed a bill to require reports of any radioactive leaks after hearing from his constituents. But The Times discovers, after a lengthy examination, that the bill was watered down after meeting with Exelon, the company whose plants created the issue and whose key executives are big contributors and bundlers to his campaign. Answering written questions for the NY Times, the campaign, in the words of the paper, never "directly" explains why Sen. Obama would tell voters he passed a bill that in fact was not passed and did not become law.

2) The Chicago Tribune features a similar story on a different topic. While Sen. Obama on the stump tells people about the plight of Maytag workers who lost their jobs, ("Obama's fundraising collides with his rhetoric") the Tribune documents that the union covering those workers believes they got no help from the Senator, who was again taking significant contributions and bundling from one of the company's directors and biggest investors.

3) And yesterday there was an AP story where Senator Obama told the voters of Idaho: "And then there are people who say, 'Well, he doesn't believe in the Second Amendment,' even though I come from a state -- we've got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks' guns." But he didn't disclose to those voters, as the AP said that "he does support gun control and has a record of voting for it in the Illinois Senate. He backed limiting handgun purchases to one a month, but he made no attempts to ban them." When he originally ran for the state legislature 12 years ago, he filled out a questionnaire saying he "supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns." He gave the voters of Idaho no indication whatsoever of either his record in the State Senate or his prior views on the questionnaire.

Posted by: sjl | February 4, 2008 9:53 AM

Mark Penn is a Clinton campaign executive. Which is to say, the above post in Clinton propaganda. Move along, nothing to see here.

Posted by: RL | February 4, 2008 10:26 AM

Thanks RL. I'd like Mark Penn to explain how Clinton represents "change" when she accepts PAC and lobbyist money for her presidential campaign. That is something she has never explained. Obama accepts no PAC or lobbyist money for his.

Posted by: Audrey | February 4, 2008 10:35 AM

If voters in this country don't vote for change in the form of Obama, I have lost all hope in them. Bill Clinton had his day in the White House and his record stands for what it is.

It left the country so demoralized, dumb, and disaffected that they elected George W. Bush twice.

No one is perfect. We need some new faces at the national level. Let Bill and Hillary continue to do their good works where they are now - he in his foundation; she in the Senate. She's a good Senator. But we need a great leader like Barack as president.

Posted by: MJones | February 4, 2008 11:08 AM

I hold BOTH Clintons in the highest regard...but my vote will be cast tomorrow for Sen Barack Obama here in the California primary.

The reason I am voting for Sen Obama is his October 2002 speech AGAINST the war!





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