Florida's Latino members of Congress, Lincoln and Mario Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, all Miami Republicans and Cuban-Americans, yesterday endorsed John McCain (R-Arizona) for president.
McCain's campaign has already hired the Miami political consulting team of Carlos Curbelo and Danny Lopez to conduct Latino outreach. This duo was key to Governor Charlie Crist's success in South Florida last fall.
While politically risky for all three congressmen to endorse the same candidate, and to do so 1 year before the start of the primary season, it could prove to have been a brilliant move by them as well as the McCain campaign.
Not only does John McCain gain a major advantage over his rivals for the critical South Florida vote in a decisive state, but these Latino politicians now become major early phase investors in John McCain for President. A McCain victory in '08 ensures an even greater Cuban-American presence in the next administration.
Another huge benefit to the McCain campaign is the plan to reschedule Florida's primary for January. That move neutralizes the power of South Carolina's Right wing which in 2000 killed McCain's presidential bid by running a smear against him for having a dark-skinned adopted Indian daughter.