Louis Gray: Send Sen. Obama to presidential victory
"Native Times columnist Tim Giago suggests in his recent offering that Native Americans not make up their mind just yet. Or to read between the lines: Hillary might pull it out yet. To be sure it is highly unlikely she can pull it out. She can make a lot of strong arguments but cannot undo the delegate system of choosing a candidate.

Giago points to Hillary’s recent trip to South Dakota as proof of her new found support for Indian people. To be sure it is a new day when there is any campaigning on Indian land at this stage of the campaign. It is unheard of to seek the Indian vote in a presidential election. But, that is just what Democratic Party Chairman had in mind when after visiting with Democratic tribal leaders like Frank LaMere and Kalyn Free on how to bring Native issues to the forefront. They suggested a western state as an early influence on the election. Nevada was picked and true to the plan both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned at Elko Indian Colony and spoke about Indian issues. At that stage both had created Indian position papers and developed an Indian policy groups.

I can’t lose my breath because Hillary Clinton visited Pine Ridge this election. When her husband as President once visited Pine Ridge and saw with his own eyes the poorest place in America with some of the most devastating social problems ever suffered by any U.S. citizen. He saw the face of abject poverty and was so moved by what he saw he ran back to Washington and did nothing. That has stuck in the crawl of many in Indian Country. Clinton did later bring Indian leaders to the White House, but again after all the photo opps nothing was done for Indian country. It might not be fair to assume Hillary would be as craven as her husband, but if she can receive the benefit of his good deeds she can also answer for his insensitive sins.

I can’t really believe anyone in Indian Country would be evoking the legislative history of McCain. Roll out the impressive list of legislative victories for Indian country he won while as a sitting senator in an Indian state or his role on the Indian Affairs Committee. Last I heard he was trying to short change Indian people on the trust fund settlement. And he was openly rude to tribal leaders making a case for a more accurate settlement amount. He indeed has a history; it’s just not the kind anyone would want to run on."

Get the Story:
Louis Gray: Obama Still the One (The Native American Times 6/2)

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