Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In search of black people in St. Paul

We've heard a lot over the years about Republican efforts to reach out to black voters. Like most other initiatives the GOP has tried during the past eight years, this effort seems to have failed too.

This article in USA Today about the diminishing number of black delegates at the GOP Convention predicts that "John McCain likely will end up with a historically low share of the black vote despite his outreach to groups such as the NAACP."

The chief reasons, the group said, are Democratic nominee Barack Obama's enormous appeal to black voters and McCain's "association with President Bush, an exceptionally unpopular figure" among blacks.

The report said McCain also is hurt because his home state of Arizona has few blacks and there are no well-known black elected officials to make his case.

I might add that McCain's efforts at "outreach" come off as remarkably transparent: trying to insinuate that would rely heavily on Rep. John Lewis despite have no previous relationship with the former civil rights leader; his half-assed apology for earlier objections to making MLK's birthday a national holiday; and offering up soft praise of Obama at the NAACP Convention - really the only time he's made that gesture during the campaign.

And a word about that last point: if going out and actually talking with black voters during an election year constitutes "outreach" for the GOP, then it's no wonder that there's been some resistance. Specifically, McCain has done little to nothing to reach out to his black constituents in Arizona.

Coming around every four years to troll for votes and make your case is not an honest effort. It's a pander, and I think many black folks know the difference.

But if you must have some Black Republicans, check out this link.

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