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A President Like My Father

In 2008, Caroline Kennedy penned a New York Times op-ed endorsing Barack Obama titled, “A President Like My Father.” I’ll always remember it because it really resonated with me—I, too, wanted to elect a president like my father.

My dad, Adolfo, born in Mexico, never had the blessing of having many memories of his father, who died, when Adolfo was just a toddler, in a tragic accident. Too young to understand that his father would never return, he remembers standing at the front door, waiting.

Growing up in a single parent home, my dad worked hard, shining shoes, picking strawberries, and working construction. But he knew he wanted more for his future and that, in America, hard work pays off. So, over many hard years, my dad worked his way into a career in law enforcement to eventually become police chief. His drive to succeed, however, didn’t end there. With a passion for education, and support from my mother, he went on to earn a doctorate degree to teach as a college professor. A dream realized.

This is the America my dad and President Obama both believe in; it’s an America where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, where everyone—regardless of your last name—has a fair shot at achieving the American dream.

“Querer es poder,” my parents used to say. Translation: ‘If you want something, you can achieve it.’ It’s a message that still rings true with me today. As we celebrate Father’s Day, it strikes me that re-electing President Obama is really about protecting the American Dream that my father and mother, and so many other parents across this nation, continue to work so tirelessly to create for their children.

It’s why I’m dedicating this Father’s Day weekend to registering and engaging the Latino community. Latinos helped secure Barack Obama’s 2008 victory and, with so much more at stake this time around, it’s up to us to do what we can to reelect him. It’s the best way to make sure the United States remains a country where all children can have the opportunity to succeed.

Are you a Latino for Obama? ¡Estamos Unidos!

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