There were, to be sure, transparently political motives behind President Reagan's decision to appoint the first Latino to ever serve in the Cabinet. But in nominating Lauro F. Cavazos, a Mexican-American from Texas, to be his new secretary of education, the President has also acknowledged the importance of education to a large and significant ethnic minority group.
By naming Cavazos to succeed William J. Bennett, Reagan beat both Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis and Vice President George Bush, the probable Republican presidential nominee, to the punch. In an election year in which both parties are avidly courting Latino voters, Bush and Dukakis had promised, if elected, to name Latinos to their Cabinet. No doubt Reagan's decision will help Bush, who has been lagging behind Dukakis in opinion polls.