Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Obama's Latino Legacy

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Obama's Latino Legacy

Article excerpt

It seems a bit precipitous but President Obama is already writing (suggesting?) his legacy with the U.S. Hispanic community, probably to assure that history appropriately makes note of all his good deeds on behalf of Latinos.

You might say his administration is struggling to cite these accomplishments since his marquee projects involving Latinos have engendered a series of frustrations and complications aggravated by an unfriendly Congress.

Since he ends his second and final term in January 2016, there's really little reason left to vigorously court the Latino constituency or even appease them because for better or for worse, the Latino suffrage as far as his administration is concerned is moot.

In the final analysis, his standing and success with his Latino agenda is what it is and history will be the final judge.

Then again, his administration's best moments with Hispanics can help whomever of the Democrats, probably Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, is chosen to succeed him, and of course, there's his own personal image he would want to promote for posterity.

The "Fact Sheet: President Obama and the Hispanic Community" was prepared by the White House Press Office and released in September.

Back in my political heydays as a Nixon White House press aide, I performed a similar task for the Latino community. We'd like to think then, as Obama's press minnows surely do now, that we were providing "nothing but the facts, Ma'am" if even some, naturally, deemed it largely self-serving.

According to the Obama report card, Latinos noware much better off in almost all socio-economic categories than with his predecessor Republican President George W. Bush.

Didn't George W. say the same about Bill Clinton and Clinton the same about George the Elder and infinite, particularly if the predecessor was of the opposite party and even if he wasn't?

According to the Obama White House bragsheet, U.S. Latinos today are on an upward spiral because of his administration's prescient policies with a few quirks and mishaps here and there to smudge up the progress.

The Obama White House list of accomplishments toward the Latino community is presented largely in broad strokes but still impressive in some sectors. It leads off with the advancement of Latinos in education, a field in which they have made the greatest progress. The number of Hispanic students enrolled in college increased by 45 percent from 2008 to 2012.

The Obama people also cite that the Latino high school graduation rate is the highest it's been in 30 years and the Latino dropout rate has been cut in half since 2000. …

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