July 13, 2005


Bush's speech at Black Expo boon for both: President may make inroads; event gains more exposure. (MARTIN DeAGOSTINO, 7/13/05, South Bend Tribune)

President Bush's scheduled visit this week to Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration is a win-win opportunity for him and Black Expo, according to Expo officials and political observers.

For Black Expo, it brings presidential prestige and national media exposure that no amount of in-house publicity could buy.

Bush gains, too, by reaching a significant black audience the very week he is skipping the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Milwaukee. [...]

Bush's visit was announced last Friday by Gov. Mitch Daniels, who said he invited the president to honor "this great event." "I am trying to speak to the need for Indiana to be unified across all lines," Daniels said, "and I know the president shares those thoughts."

Daniels' press secretary, Jane Jankowski, said Daniels broached the topic with presidential adviser Karl Rove last winter and followed it up with a handwritten note to Rove.

According to Jankowski, the March 9 note read, "Please make sure that someone treats the Black Expo invite with care."

Cleo Washington, an Expo board member and active Democrat, said the president's trip will offer multiple benefits for everyone involved.

Washington said Bush will draw a spotlight to Expo's educational, health and economic initiatives, which are sometimes overshadowed by the organization's entertainment and social events.

"To the extent the president highlights any of those things, it's a good thing," he said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2005 4:04 PM

Soul mates.

Posted by: Luciferous at July 13, 2005 5:34 PM

Didn't Bush do something like this before - skip the NAACP but speak to another African-American group? And didn't the press focused on the NAACP snub and ignored the other event?

Bush (and the GOP) are doing the outreach but it is still debatable if/when this will lead to significant increases in the GOP African American vote totals.

Posted by: AWW at July 13, 2005 7:10 PM

Yes, but remember how you eat an elephant. One bite at a time, and eventually it's all eaten.

Posted by: ray at July 13, 2005 9:35 PM

I hope the President and the GOP will continue to reach out to African-Americans. Capitalism, and not some half-baked socialist hoo-hah will advance quality and equality.

Posted by: RiskFreak at July 13, 2005 10:08 PM

South Bend's a short trip from Chicago, so I'd expect Jesse to be leading the protests the day Bush does speak at the Expo.

Posted by: John at July 13, 2005 10:09 PM

The fact that the Black Expo is being held at the same time as the NAACP Convention is a pretty good indicator of how irrelevant upwardly-mobile Black Americans think the NAACP is.

This is a good thing for Bush to do whether or not he gets any votes directly out of it. What it does show is that, unlike the Arkansas trailer-park trash that inhabited the White House for the 8 years before him, he is at least trying to be President of all Americans, not just those who voted for him. In exigent times like the ones we live in, the importance of that cannot be understated.

Posted by: bart at July 14, 2005 8:12 AM

Oops, meant to say 'overstated' or 'underestimated.'

Posted by: bart at July 14, 2005 8:49 AM