Democrats have countered with Spanish language ads criticizing Bush's first 100 days. And just this week, the Democratic National Committee started on a multi-year, multi-million dollar "Hispanic Initiative" — an effort that will include polling, fundraising, grassroots organizing and advertising all targeted at Latino voters. Rodriguez warns that treating Latinos like an aggrieved minority won't work.
"Latino voters throughout the United States tend to poll tremendously more optimistic than do blacks or whites," he said. "That seems to be one of their gifts to the body politic in the United States and it also seems to be where candidates should be leveraging. You should be leveraging what they have most of which is hope."
But Hahn advises: don't forget the basics.
"You know what? It's not a bad idea to brush up on your high school Spanish if you're running for office in America."