January 26, 2005


President Discusses Issues With Black Leaders (ELISABETH BUMILLER, 1/26/05, NY Times)

President Bush told a meeting of African-American religious and community leaders on Tuesday that he remained committed to a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and that fighting H.I.V. and AIDS in Africa remained a priority, a participant in the meeting said afterward.

Mr. Bush also encouraged the leaders to support his plan to add personal investment accounts to Social Security, which White House officials say could benefit blacks because they have a shorter average life span than whites and end up putting more money into the retirement system than they take out.

African-American men "have had a shorter life span than other sectors of America," Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, told reporters. "And this will enable them to build a nest egg of their own and be able to pass that nest egg on to their survivors."

They won't, but the White House should put the President in black churches and meetings with grassroots black leaders in every city he visits. Just the fact of the courtship would move GOP numbers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2005 9:43 AM

Why wouldn't they? After all, if a fair percentage of the black community decides this is a good move, many of the "professionals" (the insiders and Congressional Republicans and some of the punditocracy) might follow along. Bush has nothing to lose, and might just make some new friends.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 26, 2005 10:33 AM

They seem afraid he'd get a bad reaction once in awhile.

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2005 12:01 PM

deadhorsebeating: vouchers=freedom

offer them and they will come....

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 26, 2005 12:10 PM

They've got them.

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2005 12:19 PM

Nothing can help a politician more than acquitting himself well in front of a hostile audience.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 26, 2005 12:25 PM

"White House officials say [private accounts] could benefit blacks because they have a shorter average life span than whites..."

What a tin ear.

Bush: "You see, if whites starting croaking at the same rate as blacks, private accounts are an even better deal. Heneceforth, my administration will aggressively promote tobacco use among upper middle class white communities...."

Posted by: Peter Caress at January 26, 2005 5:23 PM