Hillary and the Hispanics

One of the major fault lines within the Democrats' constituency is the latent hostility between blacks and Hispanics. The media likes to pretend that only Republicans are capable of internal splits, and when compounded with the PC notion that all minorities are oppressed and therefore unified in opposition the The Man, this produces a studious disinterest in any focus on antagonisms between the nation's two largest minorities.

The actual politicians, of course, understand that this is nonsense. Hillary is very aggressively pursuing Hispanic support, and while publicly courting establishment black leadership, may well be resigned to racial solidarity luring many black primary voters to Barack Obama. Blacks, after all, comprise one quarter of the Democratic base.

Ben Smith, blogging at The Politico, notes that Hillary has gotten an endorsement from Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa:

It's a big endorsement, and one that she seems to have won the classic Hillary way.

A recent New Yorker profile of the L.A. mayor reported that he dined with Clinton on a January 2006 trip to Washingon. "[A]fterward, he told a friend that he was pleased by how much she knew about him."

Also from the profile:

When I asked him how he would make up his mind among the three front-runners, he said, "I'm very much a relationship person. What kind of people they are is important to me. I make a lot of decisions from the heart. If you want to be president of the United States, you have to appeal to the heart."

Watch for more moves by Hillary to buddy up with prominent Hispanic local officials and community leaders. Ed Lasky earlier this month traced ties between Hillary and Univision investor (and Hollywood mogul) Haim Saban, and the efforts by Univision to promote voter registration among its viewers.

Little or nothing of this racial bloc alignment will make it into the press, of course, and Obama will certainly appear with Hispanic leaders, and Hillary with blacks. But there is both fear and resentment among blacks toward Hispanics, and the immigration "compromise" is if anything less popular among blacks than whites.

Now, all she has to do is work on that Hispanic accent.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky