Just like eight years ago in the presidential race when Barack Obama swept his way into the oval office, California Congressman, Xavier Becerra, believes we stand on the brink of history in the 2016 presidential election. In Denver last week to stump for local candidates and to boost Secretary Clinton’s standing through Spanish-language media, Becerra is fully on board the Clinton train.
“We stand at a historic time. There is no one better tested than Secretary Clinton, no one as well prepared. She understands international affairs, the importance of education, the effect of gun violence… She will shatter barriers just like Obama did.”
“People of color have experienced more severe consequences with regressive policies than others have. We should remember that half that population are women of color who have carried societal burdens deeper and longer. Secretary Clinton in the White House, as leader of the free world, is a completely new perspective, a game changer.”
Becerra is often mentioned as a Vice Presidential candidate in a year when the Latino vote could top 12 percent of the national electorate for the first time in history. A Latino as Vice President could solidify the Latino voting base that favored Obama over Romney with 73 percent. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro is frequently mentioned but limited by his relatively recent entry on the national stage. Labor Secretary Tom Perez has solid experience and is well respected among Obama cabinet members. However, 24-year Congressional veteran Becerra, is listed as the top pick among Latino contenders. When asked about the possibility, Becerra deflects the conversation to focus on getting Colorado candidates elected.
As evidence, Becerra cites the fact that he was first and foremost in Colorado to stump for Democratic congressional candidate, Morgan Carroll, who is taking on Republican incumbent, Mike Coffman, in the sixth disrict but that his visit could also help the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. “Morgan Carroll is like family. I appreciate her authenticity. We need people who are real and being themselves. We deserve to have people like Morgan Carroll, and I’ll try any way I can to get her elected. I look forward to serving with her in the House.” Asked how Secretary Clinton might impact ‘down ticket’ races, Becerra likes the Clinton effect, “Secretary Clinton has a clear constancy and a welcome effect.”
Congressman Becerra believes Colorado will play a substantial role in the presidential race. “This state is one of the deciders… I love coming to Colorado. My sense is that Coloradans know they are important. Just like Iowa where people know that the road to the election goes through their house, Colorado is beginning to have that… warm, inviting, good food.”
Becerra wants the Latino community to understand the importance of this year’s election, “I am hoping the Latino community is getting energized. This election is about us. Donald Trump let us know that. We should take this vote personally. This is about decent wages, home ownership, opportunities in higher education. This is personal.”
Becerra believes Bernie Sanders has had and will continue to play an important role as the Democrats head to their national convention. “We are coming together. Bernie plays an important role and I hope the excitement and spirit he created carries over to the general [election].”
As for Secretary Clinton’s high unfavorability ratings, Becerra retorts, “Vice President Biden has a saying, ‘Don’t compare me to the almighty, just compare me to the alternative.’ Hillary Clinton is a true leader with grit. She has been knocked down and has gotten back up every time. The more she is out there, people will say she’s earned her ability to run.”