We need to prioritize On the big issues
Maria Martinez, 72, walked out of the luxurious Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables with her head held high, followed by her daughter and granddaughter. No, they were not there for vacation, they were there to vote for President Barack Obama. Martinez was much shorter than her companions, but the silver strands in her hair suggested a commanding matriarchal wisdom.
Martinez was born in Cuba, but she has lived in Miami for years. She represents an important fraction of elderly Cuban-Catholic women in South Florida. Martinez “hadn’t planned on voting,” she said in Spanish, “but then changed my mind.”
She and her daughter had picked up her granddaughter from school and were driving home past the Biltmore when they decided to stop.
The Biltmore is a national historic landmark, with an architecture and beauty that is internationally renowned. It is a place Martinez and her family know well.
“We came here last election,” she said.
Immigration and the economy were the main issues for Martinez. “The economy needs to get better,” she said.
Martinez said she had been a United States citizen for decades and had voted in many elections. At first, Martinez said, she had planned not to vote in 2012. She said she thought neither candidate was “strong enough as a person” and was even less impressive “on the main issues.”
She had been hesitant to vote for President Obama she said because she did not want to back “someone who accepts abortion; I am a Catholic.” But, she said, she thought President Obama would be better on the economy and on immigration. “We need to prioritize on the big issues,” she said.