Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Injection of Diversity within Republican Party in 2012?
By: Phillip Arroyo
This past week, a cyber web blog within the latest internet Newsweek Edition pointed at Puerto Rico Republican Governor Luis Fortuño as a potential 2012 GOP candidate in the next elections. What is truly interesting is the Republican Party’s shift of leadership and the beginning of a series of changes that appear will be executed in order to inject diversity within the political organization with the sole objective to appeal to the overwhelming population of Hispanics and African Americans in our nation.
Nonetheless, it will take a little more than just minority faces on the ballot. Republicans need to change their postures on social issues such as Immigration Reform and Universal Healthcare in order to be competitive; frankly I don’t see that happening. This is not the first time distinguished Puerto Ricans have been considered for high national office. Back in 2000, it was also rumored that Democratic Governor Pedro Rossello was on the short list to be appointed Secretary of Health, had Al Gore pulled through the Presidential election. In addition, within the Democratic leadership in Puerto Rico, an array of respected leaders such as Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock and Democratic Party Chairman Roberto Pratts are more than qualified for any federal high elected position.
Rumors also indicate Luis Fortuño as a potential running mate of failed Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for the 2012 elections. In my humble opinion, I believe the GOP has a better shot with Fortuño, opposite Palin, who proved to be disastrous during John McCain’s unsuccessful bid for the White House. As a matter of fact I am one of those that actually believe the 2008 elections would have been a lot closer had it not been for Sarah Palin’s poor performance with the press and during the Vice Presidential debate where Senator Biden took her to school . Barack Obama would have won anyways, but I suspect it would have been closer if McCain had a running mate of the likes of Fortuño.
The Republican Party discovered during the past election cycle that if their ticket was not attractive to the above mentioned demographic, they would have slim chances of prevailing. That would explain the GOP’s last minute effort to add a “minority” on Senator John McCain’s electoral ticket; a woman, Sarah Palin. The change was seen by many political analysts as “a tad too late” during a Barack Obama superstardom crusade that concluded with an onslaught of Hispanic and African American votes that helped the President win key states such as Florida and North Carolina; two conservative states.
As a result of Luis Fortuno’s possible run within the GOP 2012 ticket, the rumors of the Republican Party’s evolution of representation with Hispanic and African Americans up front and center are spreading like wildfire. As a democrat, none of this surprises me at all. Immediately after Barack Obama became President, Michael Steel was immediately elected RNC chairman, the first African American to do so.
Talk about swift damage control, although many watchful saw this move as political hypocrisy. The Republican Party has finally found out that without the minority vote you cannot win the Presidency of the United States of America.
As a Puerto Rican and as a fellow statehooder, I was proud to know of the mentioning of Governor Luis Fortuno as a possible Presidential candidate because it may represent the cultural diversity closure that will bring our nation to full circle. As a Democrat, I believe Barack Obama is the person that represents the best interests of our nation, will achieve and establish historic policies and shall be reelected. Nonetheless, it is a motive of celebration to know that both majority parties of the nation are now fully aware of the importance of diversity; the Republican party is finally beginning to do so, and that is positive.
In summary, I applaud the Republican Party for their intention of possibly considering a Hispanic, in this case, a highly qualified Puerto Rican for the highest office of our nation. Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure the first Hispanic to be elected President will be a democrat. On a humoristic note, Luis Fortuño still has time to switch national parties for 2016 though.