D.C. Juice: Villaraigosa endorses Clinton

The Democratic Party’s presidential candidates aren’t the only ones reaching out to Latinos, but they are doing a better job of it, as usual. The L.A. Times published a very good article by the Associated Press on this subject in today’s paper. Here are a few choice excerpts:

  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political courtship of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa landed her an early, influential endorsement this week that highlights the intense competition among presidential candidates for support within the growing Hispanic population.
  • Republican Mitt Romney has hired a Spanish-language media adviser in Florida. Democrat Bill Richardson, whose mother is Mexican, has made overt appeals to Hispanic voters, including announcing his candidacy in English and Spanish.
  • Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards are among the candidates devoting parts of their Web sites to Spanish speakers. And next week, Sen. John McCain will travel to Miami to deliver a speech on immigration, a site chosen in part because of the city’s large Hispanic population.
  • In the national midterm election in 2006, Democrats recaptured a large part of the Hispanic vote — nearly seven in 10 Hispanic voters supported Democratic congressional candidates, exit polls found. But Republicans in several key states also did well, suggesting Latinos could be important swing voters in 2008.

I am told that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton in part because several of the folks who helped get him elected came from the Clinton machine. The fact that former President Bill Clinton and longtime friend Fabian Nunez also asked Villaraigosa to endorse Senator Clinton didn’t hurt.

The big news on the GOP side of the aisle is that T.V. star and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson this week “asked supporters to begin collecting campaign donations June 4, after he files papers with the Federal Election Commission to establish a political committee to “test the waters” for a White House bid,” according to the L.A. Times.

Here are a few excerpts from the Times article:

  • Thompson drew attention this month when he got crosswise with a prominent nemesis of conservatives, Michael Moore, over the liberal filmmaker’s recent trip to Cuba. After Moore scolded Thompson for his love of Cuban cigars and challenged him to a debate on healthcare, Thompson replied in a video where he brandished a cigar and suggested that Moore check into a mental hospital.
  • The pressure for Thompson to run for president has been fueled, in part, by conservative Republicans who see the existing field of candidates as unreliable on key issues.
  • Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani faces criticism for supporting abortion rights, gun control and gay rights. Sen. John McCain of Arizona is viewed with suspicion because he strayed from conservative orthodoxy on campaign finance reform, tax cuts and global warming. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is now a solid opponent of abortion and gay rights, but has had to explain why he has changed position on those and other key issues over the years.
  • But it remains to be seen if Thompson’s celebrity can be transformed into a durable campaign. He begins at a significant fundraising disadvantage, and his campaign message has yet to crystallize.”At this point, his popularity is more a tribute to the three guys out front than it is to him,” said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, who is affiliated with no presidential candidate.

I think the key question regarding Thompson is whether he can raise money after starting so late after the other GOP candidates left the finish line. The Detroit Free Press addressed this in an article today, “Thompson spoke on a conference call Wednesday to several dozen people who officials said committed to raising money for him. Participants said they were asked to raise $46,000 apiece, the $2,300 legal maximum from 10 couples or 20 people.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is always getting in trouble – usually for putting his foot in his mouth. His latest gaffe is priceless, and it falls more in the pratfall category.

He was riding in a car with

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.