March 7, 2005

IF YOU SEE A CHANCE TAKE IT:

GOP Talks to Black Community (Dan Balz and Mike Allen, March 6, 2005, Washington Post)

Prince George's Community College, Howard University, "The Tavis Smiley Show" and the African American New Jersey Chamber of Commerce -- not the usual itinerary for a new chairman of the Republican National Committee. But Ken Mehlman, who took the job in January after managing the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, is using a "Conversations with the Community" tour to continue the party's quest to chip away at an ultra-solid Democratic constituency.

"No matter how well we do in elections, the party of Lincoln will not be whole until more African Americans come home," Mehlman said in an interview Friday after visiting the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta.

The party has announced such drives again and again over the years but has made little headway, with many African Americans dismissing the blitzes as little more than rhetoric. But Mehlman received new credibility when Donna L. Brazile, a grass-roots consultant who managed Al Gore's presidential bid, went on NPR to warn Democrats that Mehlman is "now inside the community" and "is a different chairman." Brazile wrote in her "Stirring the Pot" column in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper: "Among Democrats, Mehlman's efforts should be cause for alarm."

Mehlman, who has raised $935,000 for state and county parties during his travels, pushes President Bush's Social Security, education and faith-based agendas as beneficial to minorities. "My message is: Give us a chance, and we'll give you a choice," he said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2005 7:26 AM
Comments

Are you predicting Mehlman & Brazile nuptials?

Perhaps they could follow Carville & Matalin.

Posted by: ratbert at March 7, 2005 10:22 AM
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