Friday, February 29, 2008

Clinton-zuma's Revenge?

One of the stories that isn't getting as much play in this election cycle is how Hillary Clinton's campaign has been attractive to Latino voters. At this point, it may be a moot point.

Or is it?

Think about it for a moment. Democrats have been setting the stage for illegal immigrants to be given the same voting power as we do. Thanks to Motor Voter (an initiative that allows people to register to vote at the same time they get their driver's license, thanks to...Bill Clinton), illegal immigrants can register to vote. With attentiveness at polling places being less than Britney Spears at a parenting class, nobody's checking whether these folks are legitimate. They're too busy trying to get the all-Spanish ballots, after all.

Now, consider the fact that there are millions of illegal immigrants streaming into this country. That's a pretty big voting bloc, one that won't be ignored by a candidate as savvy as Hillary. (And, yes, that's even counting the blunders she's made with campaign staff and finances.) But you don't have to be a political guru to look at illegal immigrants and the Latino voters who love them as a potentially powerful political force.

Hillary has done a great, yet understated, job at attracting these voters to her campaign. Then, the question becomes whether these voters would go for Obama if Hillary were to drop out or not win the nomination. If they're anything like the other voters on Hillary's side, their loyalty will be fierce. That will deprive Obama of millions of votes in an election where Democrats are hoping to get the White House back. Every vote that Obama loses will put him that much more in the hole when going up against someone who might be able to draw on the center-right crowd Obama's hoping to get.

In short, if things play out like they have so far, Obama may win the nomination, but lose the general election, thanks to Hillary Clinton working to get the Latino vote. Then, in 2012, Hillary has a ready-made voting bloc that only she will be able to deliver.

Montezuma's Revenge is kinder than this.

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