By Cathleen Decker -
So far in this presidential contest, Rep. Xavier Becerra has campaigned for Clinton in eight states and done interviews with television and radio outlets in seven more. In California, he’s campaigned in his home base of Los Angeles and in Santa Barbara. Up soon: the Central Valley and Sacramento. All of it is intended to extend his credibility to her.
“The fact is that rarely do people get to meet the candidates who are running for office, especially for president, and so you have to ultimately rely on some sort of information,” he said of voters. “Too often it’s just television commercials, and most of the time you’re turned off them because they’re negative. So you’re making choices based on, oftentimes, things you’re not thrilled about.”
The alternative: a local who can vouch for the name at the top of the ticket.
When it comes to a presidential vote, “The more you can get closer to knowing that person, the more confidence you have,” Becerra said.
“If you can’t know the candidate personally, then knowing someone personally who knows the candidate personally is second best, versus some mailer or a campaign commercial.”
Clinton’s longevity in politics has worked against her to some extent in this outsider election year, yet in certain places, decades in the trenches can help. Becerra recalled a trip by Clinton to his district more than two decades ago, as she worked with community leaders to save a historic synagogue: “The people of East L.A. will remember something like that.”