Thursday, September 4, 2008
Jeremy D. Mayer says in his book, 'Running on Race', "The razor-thin margin of [George H.W.]Bush's victory will force Republican strategists in 2004 to compete for black votes as they have not since 1960."
It must not have worked out for them. They've obviously given up on the black vote in 2008. Have you REALLY watched the Republican Convention. It was the most overwhelming display of political homogeneity since the Republicans nominated Goldwater in '64, and almost no one has said anyone about it. Actually that's what's even more amazing!
Of the more than 2300 delegates at the Republican National Convention 36 were African-American. Thirty-six. There were 167 African-American delegates in 2004! "It's hard to look around and not get frustrated," said Michael S. Steele, a black Republican and former lieutenant governor of Maryland (who would have made an excellent Vice-President candidate by the way). "You almost have to think, 'Wait. How did it come to this?' "
Why should it matter? Maybe it shouldn't, but think for a minute: we are electing the next president of the United States of America. Of ALL of the United States of America. The two major political parties in our country are officially nominating their candidates and the Republicans nominated them with only 1.5% of their delegates to represent the interests of 12-13% of the population.
"The good news, Republicans said, is that they think Sen. John McCain can still win this election with the kind of demographics on display in St. Paul. In an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors Tuesday morning, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis outlined a strategy in which his candidate targets women and white working-class voters and essentially cedes the black vote.
"Obama's "strategy is, 'If I can just deliver the votes that I know exist, whether it's in the minority community or the youth,' or whatever the coalition is that he's got . . . 'then I can win this election,' " Davis said. "We can run our campaign the way we want to run it and not be in direct conflict with a lot of voter groups he is trying to get."
Maybe its a strategy that will work. But what message does that send to the America? And what does it say about who Republicans really think put "Country First"? And who is this mantra painting as unpatriotic? Who had a voice in putting together the platform on which the candidates run? Who constitutes this 'base' that we keep hearing about? And if there is a McCain-Palin victory, what assurances do we have that the cabinet he assembles will be anymore representative of the country than the delegates at the convention?
The Washington Post quoted Michael Williams, a black Republican who chairs the Texas Railroad Commission who spoke Wednesday night, "If we don't get better at reaching out, we're in big trouble," agreed and "It doesn't take much to see that this is not what America looks like. . . . We're trying, but we're not there yet."
Where was Colin Powell?
Where was Condoleeza Rice?
The New York Times reported, "Both the content of the messages and the color of the faces reflect a clear political reality. In 2000 and 2004, Mr. Bush and one of his top lieutenants, Ken Mehlman, worked explicitly to win more black and Hispanic votes. This year the Republicans are aggressively reaching out to the base of their party — white, male, conservative — while making a new appeal to women with the addition of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska to the ticket."
Does outreach to one, exclude the other?
Obviously, Barak Obama has the majority of the black vote going into the election. But believe me, not every black person is going to vote for him. And to not have a semblance of interest, in loyal black Republicans who speak out for their party with vigor and conviction even when it makes them unpopular just seems a little insulting.
I understand that McCain's campaign doesn't have the money Obama's has. I understand he doesn't have the staff. I understand that the record of the past eight years hasn't been the best for the country. But there are African-American Republicans who swear by the brand and with their party's primary wrapped up long before the Democrats - across this whole country they could only find 36 African-American delegates?
What happened to Lynn Swann?
The Washington Post continued, "Over the weekend, McCain traveled with his newly announced running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to a rally in Washington County, Pa., whose population is 95 percent white.
"There's no doubt that Senator Obama's popularity is going to stymie our efforts to some extent with minorities, and I understand that," said Williams, the railroad commission chairman. "I know about resources and time and money, and you have to make choices. The heavy resources for us are not going to African American voters. But that's different than making no effort all."
Thirty-six African-American delegates?
What happened to Alan Keyes?