President Obama recently announced that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be the first Latino American to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in September. The media has portrayed this decision as Obama’s attempt to win the Latino vote over Mitt Romney.
But Obama’s decision has less to do with trying to make Romney look indifferent towards Latino American issues, than it does with trying to display how misaligned Romney’s economic policies are with Latino voters.
The general majority of Latino voters have more in common with Obama’s economic policy. Obama caters to the middle-class – the majority of Latino voters. He funded education, law enforcement, and clean energy jobs and he also cut taxes for small businesses and 95% of American families, allowing the average American to spend more.
Obama's commitment to Latinos can also been seen in his decisions to ask them to serve in his own administration. Obama chose Judge Sonia Sotomayor to sit as a Supreme Court justice. Sotomayor is known for her extensive experience in policing Wall Street and working in the heart of the financial district in New York City.
Now, Obama has asked Castro to give the keynote speech at this year’s DNC. Castro is a strong supporter of Obama’s economic policy and used it to improve San Antonio’s economy. Castro used Obama’s approach to strengthen the middle-class in order to develop San Antonio. Like Obama, he also invested in clean energy and education for growing job fields. In this way, Obama selected a keynote speaker that supports his economic beliefs.
Some media outlets have suggested that the decision to select Sotomayor and Castro were simply a ploy to gain the Latino vote. Moreover, Bettina Inclan, Romney’s Outreach Director for Latinos, criticized Obama for being insincere for not reforming the immigration system in his first year as promised.
But Obama's appointment of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court would later play a crucial role in protecting Latino rights and setting precedent for other states’ immigration policy in the Supreme Court ruling of Arizona v. the United States.
Likewise, Castro is expected to lead the Latino movement in Texas and bring the state to a Democratic majority. In both decisions that Obama made, he shows that he did not merely do so in order to gain the Latino vote, but because both figures support his vision for the country.
Meanwhile, Romney caters to upper-class Americans. Romney wants to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. The only ones to support Romney are third- and fourth-generation wealthy Latino business owners, Cuban Americans, and others because Latinos are diverse in their politics.
Obama’s choice of Castro as keynote speaker only reinforces the notion that most attempts Romney will make to gain the Latino vote will come off as disingenuous. Romney has proven that his economic plan does not represent the majority of Latinos.