Friday, August 24, 2007

Will Obama's Stance on Cuba Hurt?

By Tim Padgett/Miami
(This is a good analysis and insight on Obama's bold Cuban policy initiative. Rod)
Conventional political wisdom in the bellwether state of Florida has always focused on Cuban-Americans, especially those influential exiles who take a hard line against any U.S. engagement with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Cross them, says the presidential candidate handbook, and say adios to the Sunshine State's 27 electoral votes.

So why would Barack Obama — who is scraping to keep up with Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination — ignore that seemingly golden rule? Why, in a Tuesday op-ed piece in the Miami Herald, would he challenge the Cuban-American elders and call for dismantling President Bush's hefty restrictions on Cuban-Americans making visits and sending money to relatives in Cuba?

Maybe it's because Obama knows a new conventional wisdom may well be taking shape in the state — one that could actually make his declarations this week an asset when Florida holds its primary election next January. (Continue reading: Will Obama's Stance..)

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