Turning Texas Blue or: How To Break It To Your State That Its Kitten Is Dying.

Tonight, in South Texas, Laredo for Obama held its first meeting since the senator secured the nomination for the Democratic Party.  The meeting was attended by several local elected officials who made sure to glad hand everyone they could and generally make it appear as though they were on the Obama boat the entire time.  

Wondering about the thinly veiled passive aggression?  See my blog post, Pandemonium, Politically Speaking.  

But the speeches made tonight were all about uniting South Texas under the Democratic banner of Obama, which is what we’ve all been waiting for since Super Tuesday (practically).  So the assembled Obama supporters and I all had a collective sigh of relief.

The best speaker of the night had to be David Almaraz, president of the Laredo chapter of the ACLU.  His impassioned speech on the dangers of allowing another conservative Supreme Court justice to acquire a seat reminded all of us of McCain’s comments on how the Supreme Court’s ruling on habeas corpus was “the worse decision” it had ever made.

That’s also factoring in Plessy v. Ferguson and the Dred Scott Decision.  Apparently upholding the Constitution is worse than declaring a man to be 3/5th of a person.


So the question of the night turned into:  can Texas go blue?  Is it possible to rally the Democratic vote enough to support Obama and turn a traditionally red state Democratic?

The census tonight was that it is possible; if Obama is able to seriously court the South Texas Hispanic vote.  If it’s possible to get all of those Hillary supporters that came out to vote for her on March 4th to respond in kind for Senator Obama, it might just tip the scales on election day.

Making it more plausible is the fact that a Hispanic named Rick Noriega is running against Republican Senator John Cornyn.  Local Democratic officials feel that if the vote can be encouraged to put a Hispanic in the Senate, that might put out the vote for Obama come November.  Many people vote straight Democrat without even bothering to consider the names.

So the serious effort begins this coming week to make Texas go blue.  It’s a difficult thought to put your mind around.

I have hope though.  Chris Rios told me that while visiting the Republican Convention in Austin two weeks ago the atmosphere could only be described as “quiet and church-like.”

The Democratic State Convention, however, was passionate and exciting.  I saw video of Hillary and Obama supporters together chanting “we need change.” 

If the momentum keeps up, I’ll do a victory dance come election day.  Hopefully to the sight of a blue Texas on the media’s map.


~ by atypicalsnowman on June 20, 2008.

2 Responses to “Turning Texas Blue or: How To Break It To Your State That Its Kitten Is Dying.”

  1. The challenge at this point to this plan—which I think is entirely plausible—is that the national party and campaign don’t really have any plans to invest in Texas, in any significant way. As of now. You know how this frustrates me.

    On the upside, when it was brought up to David Axelrod that the Obama campaign needs to increase its bilingual and outreach to the Hispanic community, he agreed and said they’d work on it.

    He also left it open that Texas might get moved onto the “red to blue” state list. Michael Skelly already broke out on the DCCC “emerging candidate” list, the first in Texas! http://www.dccc.org/page/content/redtoblue/

    If we can achieve more of that, and if Lampson and Noriega’s campaigns look strong enough, we might be able to woo the party and campaign here, which would only bolster the campaigns.

    And we have less than 2 weeks to do it.

    June 30.

    TDPC in Austin was exciting, wasn’t it?

    I’ll do that dance with you if we can swap to the blue on the map.

  2. Yes, according to our Obama rep, Texas isn’t on the list of possible swing states, which is a real pity. His Spanish speaking campaign workers are constantly trying to talk to the higher-ups to convince them they really should consider it a battleground state.

    And yes, I agree with you, it really is a good idea to hire more Spanish speaking Hispanic staff members. I’m glad they seem to be swinging in that direction, if what our contact said was true.

    With the current political climate, counting any state out automatically is a mistake. I hope Obama does stick to his 50 state campaign.

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