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What Latinos want from their president

July 2, 2008 | 11:26 am

Barack Barack Obama and John McCain went head to head this past weekend in front of Latino officials at a conference of the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) on the issue of immigration reported here and here on La Plaza.

Writing in Opinion today, Alberto R. Gonzales, former attorney general of the United States, has his say on what Latinos want from their next president.

"Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign has reignited an examination of race relations in America. It has led some to question how deep the divide is between black and white Americans. From my perspective, the question ignores the reality of our diverse society. We must also consider the divide between the majority from another group, one that I happen to belong to: Latinos,"  Gonzales writes.

"I have said often that Latinos share a common prayer: 'Just give me a chance to succeed.' I believe that the candidate who will win Latino votes is the one who understands that desire and who will engage the issue of racial equality for Americans of all colors. It's politically wise. More important, it is the right thing to do for our nation."

In June, a Gallup Poll summary of surveys taken in May showed Obama winning 62% of Latino registered voters nationwide, compared with just 29% for McCain, according to this report in The Times by Peter Wallsten.

Read the whole Opinion piece here ... and leave your own thoughts.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times