OBAMA HITS HARD AT LATINO CONVENTION.

Obama was introduced today at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention by a former Hillary Clinton die-hard, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Earlier today, John McCain enjoyed a friendly reception here at the Washington Hilton, but the crowd went absolutely wild for Obama, who greeted them with an enthusiastic "Si se puede!" and shouted out his "homies" from LULAC's Illinois chapter. And unlike McCain, who gave a tired speech on conservative tax policy, Obama focused on civil rights, frequently leaning into the microphone and shouting with passion. This was one of the best deliveries I've seen from Obama since early in the primaries. Toward the end of the speech, he even did a bit of call and response with the audience of states where Latino votes can make a difference in November.

McCain avoided focusing on immigration today, but Obama quickly addressed the issue of the 12 million undocumented workers who are "in hiding in this country," arguing against immigration raids that separate parents from children. "We have to finally bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows," he said, while acknowledging, "Yes, they broke the law...but we have to put them on a path to citizenship." A few more issues Obama addressed that McCain didn't touch: The gender pay gap between Latina women and their male counterparts, bad working conditions for low-wage immigrant workers, and the need for Latino children to benefit from expanded Head Start programs.

Obama quote of the day: "Part of what makes America so beautiful is that there is no such thing as someone who looks like an American."

--Dana Goldstein

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