Beltway Happenings  
July 29, 2008--Obama for America and the the Democratic National Committee announced "an unprecedented and historic $20 million commitment to engaging Hispanic voters."   U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (CO), U.S. Reps. José Serrano (NY) and Raúl Grijalva (AZ), and Obama for America National Hispanic Leadership Council Chairman Frank Sanchez look on as U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis (CA) speaks during the event.  Salazar said that Obama "cares a lot about the North-South relationship" and will "make sure we have a global view."  (See for example Obama's May 23, 2008 speech in Miami on "Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas.")  Grijalva said that the Latino community "is not being treated like an afterthought." 
Obama for America Latino vote director Temo Figueroa declared that, "The only way to get to 270 [electoral votes] goes through the Latino community." 
After the press conference, Temo Figueroa outlined some of the campaign's activities and predicted that "we're going to break records."  Figueroa said more than half of the Latino outreach resources will focus on four states: Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico, but that other states will not be ignored.  For example, he noted there is a Latino vote coordinator in Virginia.  "You have to look at it strategically, state by state," Figueroa said.  In New Mexico he said the campaign will target the 40,000 Latinos who were registered but didn't vote in 2004 and the 80,000 who are eligible but not registered.  In Nevada, he said, "The whole focus is voter registration."  The campaign is also holding Latino Camp Obamas to train Latino activists; the first was held this past weekend in Las Vegas.  Additionally Figueroa said  pollster Sergio Bendexin is conducting 16 different focus groups around the country, and that there will be messages tailored to different communities.

Also sighted near the DNC...
Paul Tewes is Obama's man at the DNC since early June.

Copyright © 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action