Commentary: Obama's done his homework on Latin America

Likely Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, who has never visited Latin America, has done his homework.

When I last interviewed him about U.S.-Latin American relations 10 months ago, Obama had trouble naming any head of state south of the U.S. border, and looked like a deer in the headlights when asked about the region's headlines of the day.

But when I interviewed him again Friday in Miami, shortly before his first major speech on Latin American issues, he spoke confidently about regional affairs. He even mentioned two presidents — by name.

He knows he has to conquer Hispanics — who have favored Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries — and has begun paying attention to the hemisphere.

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