March 1, 2005


Will GOP’s Effort to Make Inroads With Blacks Finally Pay Off? (Donna L. Brazile, March 1, 2005, Roll Call)

This weekend, I found myself sharing the stage in Atlanta with many of the icons of the modern civil rights movement ... This year ... we found ourselves discussing new players in the dialogue -- blacks who lean Republican.

While Democrats continue to rebuild after their setbacks in the 2004 elections, GOP leaders are quietly being escorted and introduced in the black community by leading ministers. Among those was our host, politically independent Bishop Eddie Long, the electrifying black pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. And while Long and like-minded blacks may have found themselves in the minority on stage this weekend, their voice in the debate was not to be missed. ...

Like many other prominent leaders, Long is one of those Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman hopes will undertake a new mission within the GOP.

Part of this mission, as Mehlman framed it before a predominantly black audience last week in New Jersey, is "to make the party of Abraham Lincoln whole again." ...

Like Long, the GOP is preaching a new gospel to black voters yearning for answers to problems such as a lack of jobs, access to quality health care, prevention and treatment of the spread of HIV/AIDS, decent and affordable housing and the disproportionate number of blacks in prison. ...

Once they start listening to Republicans, some may even like what they hear. And until more African Americans come "home" to the party of Lincoln, Mehlman promises the GOP will not cease its outreach efforts. "Give us a chance, and we'll give you a choice. A choice in education -- where you can attend college. A choice where you live, a choice to own a business, a choice to own a home," according to Mehlman. Put simply, Democrats must respond to the message coming out of the RNC.

Either Mr. Mehlman or the President himself should hire Ms Brazile--she's more than ready to switch parties.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2005 2:37 PM

A friend of mine who is a semi-pro GOP political operative has known her for years and says she is one of the hardest working people he has ever seen.

Posted by: Dan at March 1, 2005 2:53 PM

She's also a vicious demagogue.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 1, 2005 3:11 PM

When I was in college and a Democrat, I attended a NJ Democratic Convention including a seminar by Brazile on the youth vote. She was completely clueless. In fact, the idea that the Democratic leadership could send someone so obviously incompetent to speak to us was one of the things that pushed me into the GOP column.

Posted by: Bart at March 1, 2005 3:13 PM

"vicious demagogue"

Well Newt is no slouch either. Dang it I wish they could get him revved up again on private accounts for Social Security.

Posted by: h-man at March 1, 2005 4:46 PM

A nativist calling someone a vicious demagogue? It's sublime.

Posted by: oj at March 1, 2005 4:58 PM

Donna Brazile switching to the GOP - what a coup that would be. Every black audience would want to hear her explain why she switched and what the GOP was planning to do for blacks. It would validate the GOP among blacks in a big way.

If Harold Ford switches too, then you have a movement. Realignment baby!

Posted by: pj at March 1, 2005 5:08 PM

I doubt if she would do it - too many SAWBs around.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 1, 2005 5:20 PM

I heard her on Shawn Hannity this afternoon. She sounded very reasonable. She might be coming around. If the Democrats lose her they are truly gone. Democrats still have Howard Dean. There is the rally point. Backed up by the lefty blogosphere, how can they go wrong?

Posted by: AllenS at March 1, 2005 5:21 PM

It's enough that she's playing the role of the useful idiot, which seems to suit her.

Posted by: jd watson at March 1, 2005 8:42 PM

Not so fast, folks. Remember when Reagan had his 90th birthday, and everybody on a panel show except for her wished him a happy birthday? She simply said she would prefer to remain silent.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 1, 2005 11:05 PM

Reportedly, she is good friends with Karl Rove. I suppose there really aren't many people in the world that do what those two do.

I would LOVE to steal Harold Ford. He's probably the only democrat that I can think of that I'd vote for.

Posted by: AML at March 2, 2005 12:09 AM