Rep. Conyers Gets Out Latino Vote for Obama (Or Maybe Not)
It wasn't exactly the crowd he was going after, but Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) really turned heads at Tuesday evening's reception to celebrate the gorgeous new chancery building of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China.
It was something he wore: a button that said "Latinos for Obama."
Conyers, the subpoena-wielding chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is African American, not Latino. And Ambassador Zhen Wenzhong's reception wasn't exactly Latino-centric, either.
Conyers was a little too busy Wednesday trying to throw Karl Rove in jail to explain via a spokesman his decision behind wearing a "Latinos for Obama" button. Maybe one of his Hispanic colleagues asked him to do it in order to help Obama win over the crucial voting bloc that GOP presidential candidate John McCain is vigorously wooing. We don't know, Conyers' spokesman said it was too hectic a day to find out.
But whatever the reason, guests at the Chinese chancery found it amusing.
One high-powered Sleuth informant who attended the inaugural event said Conyers' button reminded him of the time Jewish (and white) Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) tried in vain to join the Congressional Black Caucus. He also noted that "Conyers wearing a 'Latinos for Obama' button would be like Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) wearing an 'African Americans for McCain' button."
Mary Ann Akers
July 31, 2008; 9:50 AM ET
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