ABC News it out to make a splash today, headlining a story about Mitt Romney’s speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) as if it could end the presidential election today.
Fate of Romney’s Candidacy ‘Could Hang in the Balance’ With Thursday Speech to Latinos
I’m not saying that the speech isn’t important, but it’s June 21. Neither party has even had its national convention yet. The group Romney is addressing may be powerful and there is no question that Latinos are a growing force in politics, but NALEO isn’t even the most well-known Latino group. I’d wager that most Americans Latino and otherwise know little or nothing about it. It’s a granite certainty that most Americans of all backgrounds aren’t paying much attention to the campaign itself, let alone a single speech in June. How about a little perspective, ABC?
Here’s something ABC left out in its hullabaloo: Barack Obama hasn’t even addressed NALEO since he was a candidate in 2008. He spoke to them, asked for their money and their votes, and then ignored them entirely for four years. He only made the immigration policy shift on the Friday ahead of his own speech to the group so he could have something other than massive unemployment to talk about. How massive? Unemployment among Latinos is currently 11%, compared with 7.7% when Obama took office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The election will turn on the economy, not any speech to any group months before most Americans tune into the election.
Update: Give ABC a little guff and they change their headline. See the above headline, which was clearly off balance and not very politically astute. It has been changed to:
Reform Advocates Say Fate of Romney’s Candidacy ‘Could Hang in the Balance’ With Thursday Speech to Latinos
That is better. It’s still wildly wrong, given where we are in the election, but at least it’s clearly attributing the wrong reading to someone other than ABC News.
Baby steps, baby steps.