Thursday, October 18, 2007

A real race?

If, as is often said, the Cuban American community is changing so much and moving away from the hard-line position, then why do Miami voters return three hard-line Cuban American representatives to Congress every two years?

A pretty good question.

Or you could ask: If there’s so much moderation, why don’t the Democrats take advantage of it by fielding and funding strong candidates to run in those three Congressional districts?

This year, maybe they will.

The Hill (a newspaper that covers the legislative branch) has some good reporting on the long, hard look national Democrats are giving those three races. A sign that the party is serious is that it is running radio spots now to press Reps. Diaz-Balart, Diaz-Balart, and Ros-Lehtinen to vote this week to override the President’s veto of the “SCHIP” health care program.

Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez (who seems like a guy who’s a lot of fun when he’s mad) tells reporter Ian Swanson that he is leaning toward running against Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. He is well known and has been on the ballot; if he’s well funded it would make for a real race.


Anonymous said...

That's going to be one hell of a debate! Even better than Calzon vs Joe G.

Fantomas said...

Phil do you know who Darsi Ferrer is?

Anonymous said...

I hope Martinez runs. It is time for a real challenge. It is time for a change!

theCardinal said...

Martinez is a bad fit. Not only is he dirty but he is an old school demagogue who represents all that is awful about exile politics.

Alex Penelas and Manny Diaz are the best hopes for a new course in exile politics. Manny could go back to being a Dem or really mess things up by going Republican (unlikely).

As for hard liners getting support - I offer myself as an example. some Anti-embargo politicians just seem a tad too eager to lick Fidel's boots (i.e., Rep Delahunt). I can't stand Cuban Delegation in the Congress from Florida - Ros-Lehtinen is a lightweight, Lincoln is ridiculous and uncouth and Mario is just plain lazy. As for Mel - he seems nice enough but he appears to be in over his head. I've always registered protest votes but a traditional anti-embargo pol will not get my vote unless they advocate some form of negotiation that gives the US something in return.

Alex said...

To run against the troika you'll need either a moderate that can galvanize the non-Cuban vote while winning enough Cuban votes or a populist. There hasn't been any good candidate of the first kind (there just aren't many moderate politicians in Miami). Of the second, Martínez is the best at getting elected. I would love to see this race.

theCardinal said...

I don't know how Martinez can get non-Cuban voters to come out to the polls. He has never had to reach out to Anglos or blacks. I'm not even sure what he sounds like in English. He also lacks polish...he is an old school Cuban populist, a style ill-suited for anyone other than the residents of Hialeah.