The Sham Battle For The Black Vote
In a conspicuous exercise in futility,
What he got for his trouble was some polite applause mixed with booing as he gamely made his standard case for free enterprise and deregulation from governmental shackles. Maybe he also picked up a few brownie points for venturing into the lion's den of Democratic support, particularly of America's first black president.
But as a man who has had a conspicuously difficult job conveying who he is to doubting voters, Romney's pitch to the
"I think that if you understood who I truly am in my heart," he implored, "and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president."
Having said that, Romney kicked off heavy boos by observing that he would "eliminate every nonessential, expensive program I can find, and that includes Obamacare," using the favorite Republican epithet for the President Obama's health care act. From the response, it was clear Romney had just communicated what was in his mind if not in his heart as far as this audience was concerned.
The next day, Obama sent Vice President
Rather than going into a long defense of the president's health care plan, he offered himself not as a visitor but as an old friend. "It's good to be home," he began. "Remember what this in its core is all about. What this organization at its core is all about -- the franchise, the right to vote, because with the right to vote we can change things."
He cited the battles he had waged along with the
Biden acknowledged he was "preaching to the choir," and when he said "let me close," the choir urged him to go on -- a plea not often heard by this famously loquacious talker. But he had made his point. He and Obama were family, and no outsider like
Romney attempt at conveying good will to a predictably unsympathetic audience, and Biden's reminder of the history he and the
The only question is whether the huge African-American turnout for Obama four years ago will be replicated this time around. In 2008, he won 95 percent of that vote, and the most Romney can hope for will be a dropoff in enthusiasm in that historic outcome.
In this stage of the campaign, when Romney is weighing his options for a running mate, he's unlikely to find one who will prove to be as strong an asset with any voting bloc as Biden was shown to be with the black community. His long allegiance to it, and his ability to convey what's in his heart rather than just hinting at it as Romney did in
Therefore, in political terms at least, Romney will probably be better served by picking someone who appeals to his party's conservative base, or is a moderate of the sort Romney himself used to be but now pretends otherwise. And it would be nice, too, if he or she could be regarded as presidential material.
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The Sham Battle For The Black Vote | Politics
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