There are many themes in Hillary Clinton's presidential announcement video in which Clinton sets the stage for her campaign message of championing Americans. Everyone from same-sex couples to burgeoning families are explicitly featured, including small business owners who happen to be Hispanic and speak in Spanish during Clinton's video. The Hispanic vote is one of the most important measures of a candidate's success given the fact that the amount of Hispanic voters eligible to vote is continually on the rise from year to year. 2014 numbers from a Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends study suggest that Hispanic voters are primarily Democrat and vote as such in both gubernatorial and federal elections.
Clinton has a fairly stellar history with Hispanic voters as well as a lengthy relationship with them, having campaigned for George McGoven with husband Bill Clinton all the way back in 1972 in San Antonio. Her mentor, Franklin Garcia, helped get Clinton in front of Hispanic voters and talking with them in truly meaningful ways. The Clinton biography A Woman in Charge details that experience as one in which Clinton's determination was on full display. Regarding her campaign job:
Hillary was vivid and pragmatic in approaching her task in San Antonio: trying to establish a strong connection between the local Mexican-American community and the McGovern campaign. [Sara, a roommate and fellow campaign worker at the time] Ehrman found her to be firm and indomitable, knocking on doors in tough neighborhoods to register Hispanic voters. Hillary was so un-intimidated that Sara took to calling her by the nickname “Fearless,” the same quality that others had recognized in Hillary in her early teens, jumping on a skateboard to get a prom date or going into Chicago's ghettos on behalf of Goldwater's campaign.
Coincidentally, a completely different Franklin Garcia has helped campaign for Clinton, and, as a Shadow U.S. Representative in DC, is the president of the DC Latino Caucus, which he also founded. It's highly likely that Clinton's own political director will be the Latina political aide Amanda Renteria. The only other potential 2016 candidate whose outpouring of Hispanic support could rival Clinton's is that of Jeb Bush, but according to ABC News, Clinton has bested him 3-1 in the Hispanic vote.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Clinton in securing continued Hispanic support will be her stance on immigration, which has fluctuated over the years. There was an incident in which Clinton claims she misspoke when asked about the deportation of Central American children and said that they all needed to be sent back. Prominent journalist Jorge Ramos even asked if Clinton had a Latino problem based on her handling of that situation.
Initially, Clinton's views on immigration were far more conservative, especially compared to that of Barack Obama's when the two were facing off for the Democratic nomination back in 2008. The two differed on whether or not illegal immigrants should be allowed to receive driver's licenses. Clinton has since been vocally supportive of Obama's executive orders on immigration, a position that has certainly helped the way Hispanic voters see the candidate.
As a Hispanic voter myself, it was the dividing issue between voting for Obama or Clinton during the first national election I'd ever been eligible to vote in. For that reason, I chose Obama. Now that Clinton has made it clear that she will carry the torch of Obama's continued reform in favor of helping undocumented immigrants find a way to stay in this country legally, I'll most certainly be voting for her.
Images: Hillary Clinton/YouTube; Getty Images (1)