January 14, 2004

Hail For The Red, Brown and Blue

“Cucaracha” Karl is not just exploiting the immigration issue to capture the Latino vote. As he did during the mid-term elections, he is also doing his best to play “the Hispanic card” in the congressional sweepstakes.

One of the more interesting situations taking form in the last few weeks involves the crucial Senate race in Florida. Faced with the prospect of Bush “henchperson” Katherine Harris representing the GOP, Karl and Company convinced HUD Secretary Mel Martinez to quit that post and quickly jump into the race.

Although it’s been rather hush-hush, the Administration has spent a good part of the last week leaning on Harris not to run. Apparently, they’re worried that the high-profile former Florida Secretary of State could serve as a “vote magnet” for Democratics angry over her throwing the election to Bush in 2000. I don’t know what they are offering her, but I’m sure Karl’s using a full complement of carrots and sticks.

This week’s rapproachement with Mexico is another sign of the Administration’s “full court schmooze.” Although President Fox knows he’s being used, he (like Bush) is a businessman, and knows how the game works. If Fox has to serve as a poster boy for the Bush re-election campaign, now–at long last–he has something “in trade” to generate a dialogue with the U.S. and to prop up his image at home.


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Michael Shaw
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