Puerto Rico

By Big Tent Democrat

Via TAPPED, some misguided analysis of the Puerto Rico primary:

Puerto Rico is the post-racial society Obama represents. It is not difficult to imagine how he could take parts of his speech in Philadelphia about race, add some history and demography about Puerto Rico, and give a speech in San Juan that rightly acknowledges that on this great issue of bridging America's racial divide, Puerto Ricans have a lot to teach America. Such a speech would not only be attractive to Puerto Ricans, it would be true.

Puerto Rico a post-racial society? Hah! More . .

The other reason to think Clinton has a tougher challenge in Puerto Rico than is assumed by the press is that none of the political machines on the island are in her corner. As mentioned at the time, Clinton supporter Pedro Rosello lost the gubernatorial primary for the Statehood Party in early March to Luis Fortuna, [sic] who backs John McCain. The Commonwealth Party is led by incumbent governor Anibal Acevedo-Vila, and he backs Obama. So, the two political organizations on the island will be using the June 1 primary as a test of their field organization, and neither of them is signed on with Clinton.

(Emphasis supplied.) This is simply wrong. Neither the NPP or the PDP will view the primary as a test of their electoral strength against each other. Clinton has more supporters in both the NPP and the PDP than does Obama, whose only major endorser was Acevedo Vila, who was indicted today and may not even be the Governor come June 3.

Fortuno's win over Rossello was not a McCain win over Clinton. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of Puerto Rico politics to even think that. Democrats and Republicans mean next to nothing to Puerto Ricans. Statehood and Commonwealth mean everything (the Independence Party is miniscule, only about 5% of the vote, though I believe Obama will be very strong in that segment.)

Political bosses are the order of the day in Puerto Rico. Clinton has those in her corner. Obama's boss, Acevedo, was weak before and now is impotent.

This analysis:

So, assuming Clinton is favored is a stretch. If the race is still going in June, Puerto Rico could be a caballo-race.

It is simply wrong imo. But I also think Puerto Rico won't make the difference.

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    Oh sweet Jesus (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:26:20 PM EST
    Americans and race...honestly what is our problem?  Why does this word post-racial even exist?  Post-racial only exists if you put us all in a blender and the color turns out being...guess what, red.

    What I'm beginning to hate most about blogs is the complete lack of indepth engagement on whatever subject comes our way.  Does anyone blog about the revote issue in regards to the FL 2000 voting issue, and the significance of modern day enfranchisement in our lives and how that might affect voter turnout or anything else for that matter?  No.  Why?  Because no matter how various, no matter how rooted in other problems our current political tribulations are, they must be covered now, in four paragraphs and they must be reduced entirely to NOW and OBAMA OMGZ!!!  

    (Most) political blogs are like a bad bet that you never have to pay for.  Get away with not paying for your bad bets, aside from your quibbles of guilty conscience, if you still have one, and you grow used to betting badly, but authoritatively, over and over again.  Woohoo.  See you at Zogby's cocktail party.

    It's worse than that. (none / 0) (#9)
    by jerry on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:41:53 PM EST
    The way links work is to provide incentives to some of the more outrageous statements.  This leads to people vilifying in the worst ways people who they probably share a great deal of agreement with.

    What's worse is that in an enemy of my enemy is my friend manner, old enemies are forgiven when they happen to agree with you.

    Hence the current love affair from several left wing blogs to the Politico as well as the programmed denunciations for all things Hillary, or all things Obama.


    Puerto Ricans in the continental US.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:22:37 PM EST
    ...would relate to "the speech" more than voters on the island IMHO. And I'm not even about that.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:23:45 PM EST
    I should add (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:23:29 PM EST
    that Obama's BIGGEST advantage in Puerto Rico is the blind support of the Republican newspaper in Puerto Rico, El Nuevo Dia.

    Hey Donald, good to see you.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by jerry on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:37:07 PM EST

    Yes speech.. is what Obama Can do... (none / 0) (#8)
    by TalkRight on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:39:14 PM EST
    It is not difficult to imagine how he could take parts of his speech in Philadelphia about race, add some ..... and give a (recycled) speech in San Juan

    I could argue PR is a pre-racial (none / 0) (#10)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 08:14:15 PM EST
    society, in terms of what Obama and so many blogs define as racial, not to mention post-racial.  (Yes, that description of PR made me hoot, and I don't consider myself that knowledgeable about it!)

    But I prefer BTD's pointed description of PR as, most significantly, pre-statehood.  When you study what territorial status means -- and doesn't -- that says so much more about what matters there.

    (Just in case, I already figured out how to position 51 stars on the field of blue.  Let's do it.:-)

    vote (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jerome Armstrong on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 11:10:30 PM EST
    How many will vote? Jay Cost said 2M is what voted in their last election, but in this primary?

    Wouldn't it be more? (none / 0) (#12)
    by jes on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 11:42:52 PM EST
    If that was a primary election since they can't vote in the GE?  Enjoyed your Lifeline  post - would love to see PR as the deciders that tip the balance for the MI/FL floor fight.

    Puerto Rican's familiarity with HRC (none / 0) (#13)
    by Iphie on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 11:52:53 PM EST
    I would also think that Hillary has some built in support from Puerto Ricans with family in New York. She won the Puerto Rican vote by huge margins in every election thus far, including the primary in February.

    Suprised you don't mention (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 12:16:15 AM EST
    Hillary's opposition, as 1st lady, to continued bombing of Vieques. Only case I'm aware of where she openly broke with Bill.


    Another Break From Bill (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 12:29:16 AM EST
    Earlier this year, Mrs. Clinton stirred up another controversial Puerto Rican issue, when she first supported, then opposed President Clinton's grant of clemency to 16 militant Puerto Rican nationalists, most of whom were subsequently released from prison.

    i guess i'm more ignorant about (none / 0) (#16)
    by cpinva on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 12:34:15 AM EST
    PR than i thought, but how racial can it really be? isn't the majority of the population hispanic? i mean, it was settled by spain and all that. is there a significant african and indiginous people population there?

    again, why don't they just decide what the hell they want to be, what's the hold up on having an island-wide referendum on this?

    Don't know much myself but (none / 0) (#17)
    by jes on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 01:14:50 AM EST
    wiki has:
    In the 2000 U.S. Census Puerto Ricans were asked to indicate in which racial categories they consider themselves to belong; 80% described themselves as "white"; 8% as "black"; 12% as "mulatto" and 0.4% as "American Indian or Alaska Native".[43][44] (The U.S. Census does not consider Hispanic a race, and asks if a person considers himself Hispanic in a separate question.)

    And someone posted this earlier today of Acevedo Vila talking on Charlie Rose. He goes through some of the history of previous referendums IIRC.


    It would be a beautiful thing (none / 0) (#18)
    by frankly0 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 07:39:07 AM EST
    if Puerto Rico were to be a large and ultimately decisive vote in Hillary's favor -- which in theory could certainly turn out, given all the unknowns.

    I'd love to see the arguments for ignoring their contribution to the popular vote from the Obama camp if that were to occur. Without a doubt you'd see some very ugly rationalizations for disenfranchising them.