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Missed You 29 September, 2007

Posted by David Anderson in Election 2008, federal.

The Jena 6 fiasco is opening old wounds in this nation and we need real leadership to keep us together.  Who will take the mantle of unifier?  I guess not the top 4 Republican Presidential candidates. 

Michael Steele is right.  The Republican Presidential candidate debate was an historic opportunity blown.  The top 4 of them missed the debate.  They unwittingly sent a message which said you are not worth talking to.  If I were the GOP rep at the African-American festival (assuming it occured today), I would catch a cold.

 By rights of political doctrine, attending a debate for a mostly black and democrat audience is a waste of time.  Save it for the general. If we weren’t trying to recover from Katrina and the nation weren’t dealing with Jena, this would be a two day story. When looking ahead at the need for the eventual nominee to have the right image to win, you have to take the invitation.  Going won’t get you a lot of votes.  Not going will get you bad publicity which is something we don’t need to ask for.   Especially when we have headlines like “President vows to veto child health bill”.  Some times you have to take licks for doing the right thing, but you never take them needlessly.  This week the image of the party is we like keeping children sick (false and explanable) and don’t care about blacks (self inflicted).  What’s next week’s image? Shall we try to offend women and the Hispanics we have left?

The winner is Mike Huckabee.  He impressed everyone yet again and now non-candidate Newt Gingrich and Michael Steele put him in the top tier.  The Ron Paul Revolution continues to show it is aimed at all Americans.   

The loser is the GOP.  A growing number of African Americans, particularly those of us under 40, are independent voters who are not satisfied with the Democrats.  In a year in which Republicans need to take any advantage they can, this episode made no sense.  Just as importantly, moderate white voters the party absolutely needs will see this as another sign the party is not open.  Even if they did not think black voters would be affected, the PR harm of not going will take millions of dollars to overcome.  This debate was worth 1000 pictures with black children in ads.

I always tell my fellow blacks the Republican party is open to us.  Now half of them don’t even take an invitation to speak to a nationally televised audience.  I can’t hide my disappointment.  It hurts deep down, even though one debate does not make or break one’s record.  Thank you Mike Huckabee for keeping my faith.  The others have some work to do. 

Note:  The preceding post is solely the view of David Anderson.  It is not intended to bash or disparage any candidates.  It is intended to call attention to a real problem in the Republican outreach to all voters.



1. Nancy Hanks - 30 September, 2007

David – Indeed more than 40% of the American electorate considers themselves independent. Partisan politics is not the answer to the abandonment of 20% of the New Orleans population, black and poor, or to the Jena 6 outrage, or to any of our continuing racialist policies, put in place and kept there by a deal between the Dems and Repubs. I’m glad Mike Huckabee is reaching out. But I’m putting my faith in the grassroots and increasingly organized independent movement.

I have cross-posted your article to The Hankster.

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