Monday, May 21, 2007

Bill Richardson--The Unknown Hispanic

If presidential candidate Bill Richardson had the family name of his Mexican mother--Maria Luisa Lopez-Collada--voters would certainly know he was Hispanic. But with the undistinguished waspy name Bill Richardson, many Latino voters have no idea that New Mexico's governor was raised in Mexico City until the eighth grade, is fluent in Spanish and has a mom who still lives in Mexico.

Today's Post has a little piece ("Pro-Familia Candidate"), in the Style section, delving into Richardson's complicated family background, including the difficult relationship he had with his taskmaster father (a Boston brahmin who moved to Mexico to set up offices for Citibank), and how the baseball skills he developed with barrio children in Mexico City helped him overcome the shock of being transferred to preppy Middlesex School in Connecticut as an eighth grader.

Perhaps Richardson, who will be making his "official" declaration as a presidential candidate today in heavily Latino Los Angeles, should campaign as Governor Guillermo Lopez-Collada Richardson.

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