START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,312,923 people care about Politics

Romney’s Outreach to Blacks, Good Photo-Ops But not Much Else

Romney’s Outreach to Blacks, Good Photo-Ops But not Much Else

 

Written by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney got exactly what he wanted at the Universal Bluford Charter School in West Philadelphia last week. That was the ultimate photo-op. He had a room filled with black teachers, administrators, and at times smiling students. But most importantly he had banks of TV cameras and reporters recording his every move and word at the school.

Romney well knows that he has absolutely no chance of scoring anything more than low single digit numbers from black voters. Even his pitch at the school for expanding vouchers and more charter schools drew skepticism and even sharp retorts from the charter friendly black educators and parents at the school.

But Romney had little choice but to hand pick a setting in a black neighborhood, and stage a carefully orchestrated photo-op appearance. He has to publicly establish for the campaign record that he is not a one-dimensional presidential candidate that’s stuck on business and the economy and that he’s perfectly capable of addressing and dealing with minority issues and problems.

Still, an appearance here and there on the campaign trail before selected black audiences doesn’t change the other brutal political reality about Romney, the GOP and the 2012 presidential campaign. The first, as already mentioned, is that he will get a relatively scant number of black votes. The other political reality is that he doesn’t need them to be competitive or even win. The two tips to that are Romney’s personal approach to the campaign and the GOP’s recent four decade history of presidential politics.

Romney has not publicly sought any major endorsements from black GOP elected officials, or prominent black Republicans. The relatively large number of black Republicans that gained some attention in the 2010 mid-term elections because of their number has disappeared from the political scene. They will not be much help to Romney in drumming up black Republican votes, and to date he’s shown little interest in actively courting them.

Colin Powell, the biggest name black Republican, even publicly ripped Romney for his misread of foreign policy priorities. Powell almost certainly will endorse Obama as he did in 2008.

Romney’s noticeably lily-white retinue of aides, campaign staffers, advisors, and bankrollers, not to mention endorsers and pitch persons, meanwhile, is in stark contrast to that of GOP presidential candidates of past years. GOP presidential candidate Richard Nixon in 1968 got well-publicized endorsements from black celebrities such as James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr. and Wilt Chamberlain. Former President George W. Bush went much further and managed to blunt the hard criticism that a GOP White House is almost always virtually an exclusively white, rich, male, clubby preserve with his arguable breakthrough appointments of Powell, as Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice, as National Security Advisor. Earlier this year, black conservative and former Oklahoma GOP congressman J.C. Watts lambasted Romney for the paucity of blacks in his camp.

The GOP’s political calculus of what it takes to win or even be competitive in a presidential election virtually ensures blacks will have little to no role in a GOP presidential campaign.

GOP presidential candidates anchor their campaigns on getting a crushing number and percent of conservative whites — especially white males, in the South and the Heartland — who have consistently delivered more than one-third of the electoral votes needed to secure the White House. GOP presidents and aspiring presidents, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., George W. Bush, John McCain and legions of GOP governors, senators and congresspersons, would have no chance of maintaining the GOP’s regional and national political power, position and influence without them.

White blue collar voters have shrunk from more than half of the nation’s voters to less than forty percent. The assumption, based solely on this slide and the increased minority population, is that the GOP’s white vote strategy is doomed to fail. This ignores three political facts. Elections are usually won by candidates with a solid and impassioned core of bloc voters. White males, particularly older white males, vote consistently and faithfully. They vote in a far greater percentage than Hispanics and blacks.

The Tea Party’s recent resurgence in senatorial contests in Indiana and Nebraska has served as a further cautionary warning to Romney that ultra conservatives and Christian Evangelicals can’t be taken for granted. They still can turn out in significant numbers to tip a close campaign. They will not be there for Romney in 2012 if there’s any hint that he will backslide on conservative mantras of less government, a free hand for corporate enterprise, full military spending, and uncompromising opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

Romney would have to soften his stance on these issues to make even marginal headway with black voters. That would trigger screams of betrayal from ultra-conservatives. The risk is far too great and the rewards to little for him to take that chance.

The West Philly charter school visit was the first of Romney’s scripted stops to show that he too has a program for and is attuned to the problems of urban America. His future stops in ghetto neighborhoods won’t be any different than the Philadelphia one. They’re good photo ops but not much else.

This post was originally published by New America Media.

 

Related Stories:

Want to Improve America’s Education System? Desegregate It

Romney PAC Gave Money to Race-Baiting Anti-Gay Group

Allen West, Vice Presidential Contender?

 

Read more: , , , ,

Photo from New America Media

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

30 comments

+ add your own
10:02AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

I hate this man.

2:17AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Obama doesn't care about Blacks....

While Barack Obama is of partial African descent and both developed and leveraged a social/political profile within Chicago's African American community, his empathy towards and passion for Black Americans is almost non-existent.

I've observed Obama carefully over the last 39 months and always found him to be almost an antithetical black. He made very few Black American appointments during his first term. There was window dressing at each US Agency (e.g. Eric Holder and the woman at EPA), but amongst the other 25,000 appointees he placed, less than 150 were black. See www.whorunsgovernment.com He's had a full plate of issues to deal with, but has always shied away from doing bold things for Black Americans. Or, maybe because he only hired white and east indian appointees, those people are not interested in Black Americans and he's too busy to correct the mistakes or plug the holes he's created. Who knows?

The Congressional Black Caucus has been waging a silent Washington war with the Obama Administration on his behavior towards Black Americans to no avail. You have to respect them for being so discrete about such an important fight. Indeed, the only person who seems to be getting the real Obama story out is Professor Cornell West. Unfortunately for Dr. West, there are bourgeoisie Black Americans who are predisposed to protecting the image of a Black President versus demanding some accountability from him.

I say, Vote Romney. Wh

1:46AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

There have been four polls taken in Tennessee this year, which have Romney ahead by 7, 2, 6 and 7 percent. The last, from Vanderbilt and the Tennessean, shows Romney up 47-40 among likely voters, but only 42-41 among registered voters.

North Carolina’s in doubt, with Romney up by 2.5% and, surprisingly, so is South Carolina; the only poll taken this year has Obama up by 2%. Georgia and Kentucky could even be vulnerable.

Blacks, women, young people and middle class voters are the key. A Big Guns speaking tour through those states could have an impact. Same day events to blanket a metropolitan area: Joe Biden at a union rally, Michelle Obama talking to suburban Moms, Bill Clinton at a downtown rally, John Lewis addressing civil rights groups in a Black church, and Gloria Steinem telling a college women’s rally what it was like before they had all the rights now under fire from the right, prefaced by a morning editors roundtable with all five. It would dominate local news cycles and get national coverage for its entire run.

We can take to this to the Republicans and make them fight for what they thought was their own turf, taking a lot of GOP spending out of Virginia, Ohio and Wisconsin, the states that will put Obama over the top in November.

8:32PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

it's not like obama doesn't do his photo ops. look at his photo visits to the war wounded and his closing the viet nam memorial at 7 am memorial day so he could have his little speech. the crowd was hand picked to make sure nobody said anything bad about him and the memorial didn't reopen until 4pm. there were real people there wanting to pay their respects to family and friends and they couldn't.
obama only did the memorial day wreath layings this year because he wants to get elected again. all prior years he's sent biden.
so who else is a fraud? obama does more photo ops than anybody, well unless he's on vacation.

9:57AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

"Keep studying and work hard son and some day you might be able to get a job as a groom or grounds keeper."

9:06AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

Come on, kids........Play nice

7:36PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

I WONDER IF HE IS THAT BAD ONLY I AS A WOMAN WOULD NOT TRUST HIM AND I WAS A DIVORCED MOM RAISING KIDS IN INTERRACIAL NEIGHBORHOODS MOST OF THEIR YOUNGER LIFE.....I JUST DO NOT WANT ANY MAN WHO CALLS THE WHITE HOUSE ON THE JOB TRAINING .....IN OFFICE.....MAKES US LOOK LIKE WE DONT KNOW OUR REAR FROM OUR FRONT ETC.....AFTER ALL ....ALL OF MY JOBS I TOOK WERE ON THE JOB TRAINING...I DID NOT HAVE THAT SYSTEM OF HELPERS DOING MY JOB FOR ME..LIKE OTHER WHITES......SO I WAS DISADVANTAGED IN NOT GETTING HIGHER COLLEGE EDUCATION....BUT I WAS NOT DUMB AND SET OUT TO SHOW ONE PERSON THAT I COULD LEARN FASTER AND BETTER THAN THEY COULD..AND DID...SO NOW I DONT TRUST THE WHITE MAN AND WOMAN RUNNING THE WORLD BECAUSE I CANT BE SURE WHOSE RUNNING THEM.........

6:29PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

he only did the pic with black student 1. To make him not look like the bigoted cracker he is and 2. To fake that he gives a shit about the poor and inner city youth .The guys a fake and a bullshitter and i can only see his white collar pussy ass being worse in office.I would never vote for a who thinks me and my family and friends have no worth cause were not worth $1million or more.If him and his Nazi cronies didn't rape america through shady business practices we'd all be doing better.Mormonism isn't even a religion ,it's a cult that rips off other religions .It's the Bain capitol of religion!!

4:51PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Temperance R.
“That must have been a difficult thing for him to do since Mormons believed for eons, since it's establishment, that Black people are CURSED by God and when the curse is lifted, they will become White again”

Aw, so THAT’S what happened to Michael Jackson. ;)

Steve R
“African Americans for Obama....

But it's not racist, is it? Not unless Romney said "white Americans for Romney", right?”

That’s an idiotic statement.

12:12PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Romney - SUPER FRAUD!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

My husband wanted to learn everything about American Indians His favorite book stores were in Tomahawk…

Oops again. Last bit: They either will be or they won't, and there's nothing you can (or should) do…

meet our writers

Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.