The White House Task Force on Puerto Rico released its list of recommendations for what to do about Puerto Rico today, proving once again that Puerto Rico remains a mystery to Washington, DC.
In October of 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order updating and broadening the functions of the Task Force to not only examine and report on the status question, but to also focus on matters affecting Puerto Rico’s economic development, and provide advice and recommendations to the President and the Congress on policies that promote job creation, education, health care, clean energy, and economic development on the island.
Obama's commitment to helping Puerto Rico stems from a campaign promise that, while it did not win him the strangely coveted 2008 primary in Puerto Rico – Hillary Clinton won that vote overwhelmingly – was a historic first.
For the first time, a politician acknowledged and stated on the record that Puerto Rico's special relationship with the United States was worthy of respect. It was a love letter, and he is fulfilling his promise.
In fact, the White House Task Force on Puerto Rico wants to hold at least two referendums on the island for voters there to choose which status they prefer: statehood, commonwealth, independence or free associated state.
Back in in February 2008, Obama the camdidate wrote:
Yet, during a conference call this morning with task force members