While the politicians were milling around waiting for the big immigration march to start last Sunday, one of the things they were all gossiping about, of course, was politicians: who was going to show up and who wasn't. In particular, I thought I picked up some anxiety on the part of a few who were worried that Mayor Laura Miller would make an appearance after all. She wasn't supposed to, but some people were concerned she might change her mind.
Miller has made inroads into the Latino vote in the past. The conservative Mexican-American working and middle classes tend to like her. Of course, they don't vote much. But the people I talked to--Hispanic leaders--are convinced that this huge march is the political awakening of which they have dreamed for years and that now Latinos finally will start voting. They wanted Miller to stub her toe by not showing up, and she fulfilled their wish.
The assumption was that she would not show, because her re-election bid is going to have to appeal to a very narrow North Dallas conservative base, and she won't want to do things that make her look like a liberal Democrat. I see she told the Morning News she was busy that day shopping at Whole Foods.
This was the biggest political event in the history of the city, bar none. The ringmaster of it all was her old political nemesis, lawyer and former state Representative Domingo Garcia. He looked good. And that Whole Foods thing? Do you think Domingo might pick up on that? Do you think he might toss that back at her some day? Too busy to appear before half a million people in her city because she's shopping at Whole Foods? I don't think it was a good move. But what do I know? --Jim Schutze