October 18, 2004


Kerry Seeks to Connect to Blacks (Matea Gold, October 18, 2004, LA Times)

Kerry's newfound focus on the group is more than October's traditional get-out-the-vote effort. It comes amid signs that many African Americans remain ambivalent about the Democratic candidate, despite their antipathy toward Bush and ongoing anger about the contested 2000 presidential election, in which the ballots of hundreds of thousands of black voters were disqualified. [...]

Surveys taken by the Washington Post and ABC News in September showed that while nearly 80% of African Americans respondents said they planned to vote for Kerry, less than half of those considered themselves "very enthusiastic" about his candidacy.

That tepidness was articulated by more than a dozen black voters who were interviewed in Cleveland last week. Kerry, they said, has not communicated a concrete agenda for improving housing, creating jobs or fighting poverty. Others said they did not sense a connection with the Massachusetts senator.

"I'm just not feeling it," said Laura Goodrum, 45, as she ran errands at a shopping mall in Glenville, a predominantly black neighborhood on the city's east side. "I think that Kerry would do the job better, but not much."

The Kerry people figured this out in October?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 18, 2004 4:34 PM

"the contested 2000 presidential election, in which the ballots of hundreds of thousands of black voters were disqualified. [...]"

Uh, evidence, please? Or is a reporter for the LA Times not required to lower herself to proving assertions instead of merely codifying them?

Posted by: AC at October 18, 2004 5:43 PM

Some George Soros-funded 527 has a commercial out today saying the same thing, in an effort to wratcet up the vote in the African Anmerican community. So with early voting underway in many states, based on that and the L.A. Times story, the claim that "the ballots of hundreds of thousands of black voters were disqualified," are probably the buzzwords the Kerry people are pushing this week.

Posted by: John at October 18, 2004 5:54 PM

That 80% number among Blacks is about half what a Democrat needs to get elected in today's political landscape

Posted by: MarkD at October 18, 2004 7:59 PM

I told many friends that the Democrats needed to nominate a centrist black as VP this election. Many blacks were upset that "another minority" got the VP slot first with the Jewish Lieberman in 2000. I don't agree with the logic itself, but blacks have been a loyal constituency for Democrats and constituencies need to be rewarded. By selecting a black VP the Democrats would cement that loyalty and dispell any lingering hard feelings. The centrist qualifier is equally important because you don't want to alienate whites who are not bigots but dislike the Jesse Jackson white-baiter types.

If Kerry had done this, I don't expect we'd be seeing issues like this.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at October 18, 2004 8:00 PM

er, by "Half I meant", "10% short of"

Posted by: MarkD at October 18, 2004 8:01 PM


There are none.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2004 8:11 PM

OJ: I can think of a few -- Ron Paige, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice -- ooops, wait a minute, those aren't Democrats, are they?

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 18, 2004 8:28 PM

Kerry was at an African-American Church here in Columbus yesterday morning. I think it was the 30th consecutive Sunday in such a church this year. I am sure he said to himself as he left: "Hot Damn, 2 more and I don't have to go to church again until one of the kids gets married."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 18, 2004 9:07 PM

AOG: He's not old enough.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 18, 2004 9:49 PM

& he'll be a Republican by the time he is.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2004 10:36 PM

I wish he would be a Republican soon, but he woun't be.

I like Harold Ford and could vote for him.

Posted by: AML at October 19, 2004 12:42 AM

Harold Ford's daddy was a Ron Dellums type Democrat. His Uncles were (and maybe are) Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Black Panther type Democrats.

Maybe people change, so I wouldn't put much stock in the above. But let's not get ahead of ourselves regarding Harold Ford's supposed moderation.

By the way Harold Ford's father was indicted for corruption by Hickman Ewing (who later was one of the prosecutors who obtained conviction of former governor of AR. Jim Guy Tucker). His Father was found innocent, but to me there are only two chances of Harold Ford Jr. becoming a Republican, slim and none.

Posted by: h-man at October 19, 2004 6:31 AM


Like Joe Lieberman, he's more ambitious than ideological. Ambitious politicians need to be Republicans for the forseeable future.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2004 8:43 AM