It seems that for the first time in recent memory, the White House will not be holding a Cinco de Mayo celebration, with the usual May 5 festivities apparently succumbing to the sequester axe.
The spirited annual affair, featuring Latino food, music, margaritas and obsequious comments from the president, is not on this week’s White House schedule. Instead of spicy food, President Obama Sunday served up a bland statement marking the holiday.
The cancellation is perhaps surprising given the political importance of the Hispanic vote and the opportunity the event would have given Obama to tout his top agenda item, immigration reform.
But the White House has apparently decided it would be bad form to stage another party – the Obamas just hosted a “celebration” of Memphis soul music – while government services are cut and the salaries of Obama’s own White House staffers are docked. And Obama and his aides probably don’t want to enter into a game of picking ethnic winners and losers, having last month cancelled the annual White House celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.
Obama strategists may also feel they have already covered their bases with Latinos, given that the president returned just Saturday from a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica.