May 19, 2005


Swann typifies black GOP seeking high office in '06 (Kevin Ferris, 5/17/05, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Now that democracy is inching its way across Iraq, it's time to consider the next step in promoting diverse, multiethnic governments.

Lebanon? Egypt? Saudi Arabia?

How about the United States? Maybe the U.S. Senate, or a couple of governor's mansions, the training ground of presidential aspirants.

There are at least four African Americans running or considering running for such offices in 2006:

Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell wants to move up to governor.

The Rev. Keith Butler, a former Detroit councilman, has declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from Michigan.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Mike Steele may seek an open U.S. Senate seat.

Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann is considering a challenge to Gov. Rendell.

It's early in the process. There are people to meet, organizations to build, and tough primary fights ahead. But here's why it's worth noting now: They're all Republicans.

The party much maligned - sometimes fairly, sometimes not - for its approach to racial issues and openness to minorities is changing. And candidate recruitment is only one part of a much larger outreach effort.

Give us a chance, we'll give you a choice. That's the party mantra as Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, travels around the country speaking almost weekly to black and Hispanic audiences. The emphasis is on shared social values and economic opportunity. President Bush's backing of education reform, and recent increases in home ownership and small businesses among African Americans are touted. Outreach and advisory committees are being formed nationally, statewide and locally.

"African Americans deserve a two-party system," says Tara Wall, the RNC's director of outreach communications. "We're going to... let them know there's a choice, not just the same old tired rhetoric they've heard from Democrats year after year."

President Bush should also put Herman Cain at Treasury.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 19, 2005 8:32 AM

Should he decide that we need to reform health care in America, and there are lots of reasons he could take that position, putting Herman Cain in charge of that effort would be an excellent move. He's a brilliant businessman, and it would be a real in-your-face gesture to the Clintons.

Posted by: bart at May 19, 2005 9:25 AM

Affirmative action is the deal-breaker. This un-American abomination is allowed to fade away or the Republican party fragments.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 20, 2005 11:08 AM


Only elites actually care about it because they're the only ones affected.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 12:13 PM

Considering that Republicans forced affirmative action on us, it's only fitting they remove it.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at May 20, 2005 5:04 PM