April 30, 2004


Some Blacks and Hispanics Criticize Kerry on Outreach (JODI WILGOREN, April 30, 2004, NY Times)

For weeks, Senator John Kerry savored a Democratic Party that was unified in rallying behind his presidential candidacy. But in recent days, influential black and Hispanic political leaders whom the campaign had counted on for support have been openly complaining that Mr. Kerry's organization lacks diversity and is failing to appeal directly to minority voters.

Even as Mr. Kerry spoke here on Thursday to the National Conference of Black Mayors — an appearance his community outreach team viewed as critical to building a network of minority support — two influential Latino leaders circulated harsh letters expressing concern about the campaign's dealings with minorities.

And in interviews over the last week, more than a dozen minority elected officials and political strategists voiced concerns about what they said was the dearth of representation in Mr. Kerry's inner circle and worried that he was taking black and Hispanic votes for granted.

"The reality is that we're entering May and the Kerry campaign has no message out there to the Hispanic community nor has there been any inkling of any reach-out effort in any state to the Hispanic electorate, at least with any perceivable sustainable strategy in mind," Alvaro Cifuentes, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee's Hispanic Caucus, said in an e-mail message to party leaders provided by a recipient who insisted on anonymity. "It is no secret that the word of mouth in the Beltway and beyond is not that he does not get it, it is that he does not care."

The difference between a respectable loss (45-6%) and the Apocalypse (40-42%) for Mr. Kerry lies wholly in the turnout of core constituencies. When it became obvious that Bob Dole couldn't beat Bill Clinton he did the righteous thing and ran as a conservative to make sure his pals in Congress didn't get drubbed. Considering that he's surrounded himself with Kennedyite true believers, one wonders if Mr. Kerry is capable of an equally selfless decision.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 30, 2004 10:02 AM

I still think that, deep down, Kerry still thinks he can win this thing.

Posted by: Bartman at April 30, 2004 11:35 AM

So does William Jennings Bryan

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 11:38 AM

"But how do you know that I am to be defeated?"
----Alton Parker (qtd. in Edmund Morris's Theodore Rex)

Don't underestimate the power of delusion--or the delusion of power, for that matter. Kerry's going to get enough leftist Kool-Aid that he won't be able to help but run full bore throughout.

Posted by: AC at April 30, 2004 2:12 PM

Well, Kerry's got more chance of being requited than the poor souls I see every time I go 'cross river into Portland (OR), who drive around with their cars covered with Kucinich-for-President signs. Saw a Volvo station wagon full of Kucinich yard signs driving down Hawthorne Blvd Wednesday while waiting a streetlight. Ah, the smell of wafting patchouli...

Posted by: TimF at April 30, 2004 4:29 PM

And anyone remember Dean?


Posted by: Ken at April 30, 2004 5:19 PM

Maybe Kerry wants to be Adlai Stevenson. But I keep telling you guys that he is really running for President of France.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 30, 2004 10:43 PM

"The reality is that we're entering May and the Kerry campaign has no message out there to the Hispanic community "

They shouldn't feel too bad. Kerry doesn't even have a message out to the white community yet.

Posted by: ralph phelan at May 1, 2004 12:17 AM

Sounds like the Democrats are (as usual) taking the minority vote as a given. I'm sure Kerry will say 'all the right things' to salve their feelings as the campaign progresses.

One can't help but get the feeling that his campaign is living by the adage recently attributed to St. Hillary: 'You don't have to fall in love. You just have to fall in line."

Posted by: Dave Sheridan at May 1, 2004 1:33 AM