The RNC’s Diversity Pageant

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Tampa

Mia Love is not a household name. But ask any savvy Republican here, and they’ll tell you the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, is one of the party’s political phenoms. Love, 37, is a congressional candidate for Utah’s 4th district. More importantly, she’s a black Mormon with sterling Tea Party credentials. This is the sort of improbable resume that earns you a coveted speaking slot on the convention’s first night — even when you’re down by double digits in one of the most conservative states in the U.S.

When Love took the stage in Tampa Tuesday night, the Utah delegation roared to life, whipping orange Love 4 Utah towels like rabid football fans. Even Stephen Sandstrom, a veteran of the state legislature whom Love beat for the nomination, looked gratified as she drew standing ovations. Love “says a lot about the state of Utah and about where we are as a country,” says Sandstrom, who hastened to add that he was a big supporter. “She’s combating stereotypes about what it means to be a Republican. We’re a big tent.”

On the first night of the Republican convention, a mostly white, aging party did its best to avoid looking like it. Ann Romney and Chris Christie were the headliners. But for much of the night, the spotlight was given over to walking, talking rebuttals to the argument that the GOP is a party for privileged white men. There was Sher Valenzuela, a candidate for lieutenant governor of Delaware (“I’ve seen these on TV!” she said of her first convention); Ted Cruz, the Latino Senate candidate in Texas; South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, an Indian-American; African-American former Congressman Artur Davis from Alabama; and Nevada’s Hispanic Governor Brian Sandoval.

The diversity pageant is a timeworn tactic at Republican conventions. Soul singers performed at the 2000 convention in Philadelphia, when George W. Bush sought to bring more minority voters into the GOP fold. The number of black delegates peaked at 167 in 2004, 16.7% percent of the overall total. But it plummeted again in 2008, and this year’s confab in Tampa drew just 46 black delegates, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. According to Pew, 87% of Republicans are white, a figure that has held steady since 2000.

Competing against the first black President, Mitt Romney faces an uphill battle appealing to minority voters. But the thumping he’s taking outside of his demographic wheelhouse is forcing him to ring up huge margins among whites just to be competitive. A TIME/CNN poll released this week found Barack Obama leading Romney among nonwhite voters in Florida by 70% to 29%, as well as leading by 12 points among women. In North Carolina, he leads by a whopping 84% to 9% among nonwhite voters. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll pegged Obama up 2 to 1 among Latinos nationwide, and 94% to 0% among black voters.

These margins are why GOP officials think showcasing what diversity the party has is critical. “We’ve never done well with those groups,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Monday at a Tampa hotel, arguing that the GOP should hone its pitch to blacks, Hispanics and youth voters by focusing on how they’ve been battered by the economic downturn. “To be a national party, we’ve got to reach out. That means showing up in their neighborhoods. It’s a tall order, but it can be done.”

The difficulty is compounded by ugly incidents like one that allegedly took place Tuesday night, when an RNC attendee allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman and said, “This is how we feed animals.” A RNC spokesman condemned the incident.

Gathering in a state whose shifting demographics reflect that of the nation’s, black GOP delegates and their guests know they’re anomalies. “She’s the Pegasus and I’m the unicorn,” jokes Alphonso Nation, a retired Army captain from Arkansas whose wife is a delegate. It doesn’t have to be this way, he says: African Americans tend to be socially conservative like Nation, who believes the party’s principles better promote the social mobility that has often eluded minority voters.

Romney has made some overtures toward Hispanics, including a new Spanish-language radio ad in which his son Craig — who is regularly enlisted to show off his bilingual fluency– recounts the rise of his Mexican-born grandfather. But delegates say the GOP nominee needs to improve his outreach. “We’re visual people,” says Camille Moore, an African-American delegate from Georgia who works in economic development. “Go out and visit African American communities and let them hear the message.”

The low percentage of minorities in their ranks has led Republicans to aggressively publicize nonwhite conservative politicians. Their visibility in the party both demonstrates inclusiveness and, many believe, refutes accusations of racism that have unfairly dogged the GOP. It’s this phenomenon that helped Herman Cain take a fleeting turn as the frontrunner in this year’s presidential primary. “There are a lot of white conservatives tired of being called racist,” conservative talk show host Steve Deace told me last year, in a succinct summary of how Iowa’s homogenous electorate had fallen for a candidate with dubious policy credentials. “People are giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s an outsider and because he’s not white.”

Which isn’t to say any of the politicians on stage Tuesday night weren’t worthy of the adulation heaped upon them by their party. Texas’s Cruz, in particular, is one of the GOP’s brightest talents. Davis unfurled a scathing denunciation of the President with the fervor of a political convert. But there is little question that their speeches were all the more effective for the faces delivering them.

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Tim Hadds
Tim Hadds

ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!

 

Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY White country and ONLY into White countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY White country and ONLY White countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the White race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

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Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

Hot News! 

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yahoo News has fired Washington bureau chief David

Chalian after he was caught on a hot-mic during an online video

broadcast saying that Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, had no problem with African Americans suffering as a result of Hurricane Isaac, a source familiar with the situation tells POLITICO.

"They're not concerned at all. They're happy to have a party with

black people drowning," Chalian said over a break during the ABC

News/Yahoo News webcast, in reference to the fact that the GOP

convention in Tampa is taking place as Hurricane Isaac makes landfall on

the north Gulf coast.

---

He was fired for saying that on a Hot Mic??? But Halperin was just suspended for calling President Obama a d***K? And now, he is on Swampland torturing us with his far Right views, day and night. Yet, Chalian, who made a comment without intending to be heard was fired. Wow!! 

 

Malty17
Malty17

Democrats hate that there is diversity in the GOP.

Note: over 78% of democrats are white. Yikes.

MrObvious
MrObvious

That math of yours makes absolutely no sense. If 94% of black would vote for democrats then how can 78% of all democrats be white and how come 50% something white men break towards Romney and 60-70 percent latino break towards dems and 55% women break towards Obama?

Seriously; is your entire excuse for covering the sorry state of serious lack of diversity in GOP that somehow it's the dems fault?

No bud - it's the GOPs fault that minorities doesn't break more for their party. That's what happens when you give more voice to the crazy then you do the sane.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

It sure did NOT look it last night.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

"According to Pew, 87% of Republicans are white, a figure that has held steady since 2000."

Enough said.

Malty17
Malty17

Over 78% of the USA is white.... so with over 94% of blacks historically voting for democrats it makes sense that the percent of white republicans would be high (Blacks make up over 13%+ of the US population).

I know that you were being dumb and trying to insinuate racism. Yawn, that is getting old.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

White or European American=223,553,265; or, 72.4 %

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

I know you are dumb, but what am I?

AlmostaZonie
AlmostaZonie

Rumors are flying on the internet and on the radio, but I have yet to see the mainstream media post anything like this:  "MSNBC and NBC deliberately did not provide TV coverage of minority speakers".

Obviously this would make it appear to be an all white convention.  So the question is: Any truth to this rumor?

Malty17
Malty17

True. They gave the convention little coverage as possible--about an hour.

Also, did you hear that the editor for Yahoo News got canned because of anti-GOP comments that got picked up on the hot mic? CNN/Time... avoids anything that makes the liberal media look too in the tank for barack.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

NBC provided one hour of prime time coverage (10:00 EDT) last night and will do the same tonight.

The speakers in prime time last night were Ann Romney and Chris Christie.

It would seem there is no truth to that rumor.

As to MSNBC, I have no idea what they covered. I stopped watching a long time ago. However, at things like this they used to provide lots of "analysis" and periodically cut to whomever was speaking when they wanted a brief break. If there are relatively few minority speakers, you can't be sure they will be on at the right time.

Here is tonight's schedule of speakers.

http://www.politico.com/news/s...

grape_crush
grape_crush

Rumors are flying on the internet and on the radio, but I have yet to see the mainstream media...

a) Every half-a55ed rumor that crawls out of the right-wing fever swamp doesn't deserve attention.

b) It is pretty much an all-white convention. Decades of pursuing the Southern Strategy got the GOP to this point, so suck it up. No one's fault but their own that they don't attract non-white peoples in any substantial numbers.

c) There's no point in asking the question here, other than to try and insert a false meme into this discussion. You'll have better luck asking someone at MSNBC or NBC that question.

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

They "play up  diversity".  How diverse can it be when 99% of the Republican party is white, 80% are men and 99.999% of them are Christian?  90% of their followers are the willfully ignorant poor while 95% of the money they raise comes from wealthy sponsors who are almost exclusively white males?  The right-wing is a study in extremes and is about as diverse as any German Nationalist rally from the 1930's.

They want the Latino vote.  Just as they have done to most of the willfully ignorant faithful, they'll use these bogus social agenda issues to make the Latinos think the right-wing is on their side.  The only thing they'll have to STOP doing is all the talk about shooting the Latino voter's family on the border when they try to cross into the US.  That doesn't play well among them.

Malty17
Malty17

You have actual stats in the article.... which closely relate to the racial make up of the country. 87% of republicans are white and 71% of the country is white. 13% of the country is black and of those, 96% voted for obama (so, subtract that from the republican total....

Anyone with a brain can do a little research... or even read the article.

PaoloBernasconi
PaoloBernasconi

0% among black voters ... yeap, super doper biodiversity 

Malty17
Malty17

The speeches were very good. Romney is a good guy and a great leader and problem-solver (no matter what barack's $350M in negative advertising says).

Romney has balanced budgets, helped struggling businesses, overseen unemployment below 3.5%, cleaned up a scandal and been a good husband, father and human being.

armyvet129
armyvet129

What a bitter one sided article from someone who obviously gave up the "reporter" title a long time ago. Why is it that African Americans who hate Republican's are geniuses and the ones who are great people like Mia Love are considered "sell outs". The Democrats tell us that every one of these independent thinking African American's who love freedom and understand the bitter divisiveness and failure that is the Democrat party are "Uncle Tom's" or worse yet they are "being used". How insulting and racist can you get? Are you telling these people that because they are black they are in the wrong party and they are too stupid to realize it?  Obama will lose big this election and it's people and articles like this that will grease that landslide for the Republicans. Keep up your race baiting articles, we need more people mad at the entire premise you are suggesting.

filmnoia
filmnoia

I bet if Ms Love layed on a shrink's couch you would find that she has a serious personality disorder. I'm reminded by the film Shock Corridor, where a reporter enters a mental institution to find a killer. One of the inmates is a black guy who thinks he's a member of the KKK - that's Mia's brother.

Malty17
Malty17

Wow, another democrat kook. They seem to love the CNN boards.

armyvet129
armyvet129

 Meanwhile back in reality your degrading opinion of a lady is just that, your opinion. Sad really, how racist you Democrats can be.

armyvet129
armyvet129

 filmnoia, you are an obvious bigot for reasons I've already outlined. Every word you type confirms what I've called you. These African American's are thoughtful, hard working people just like us white people. Imagine that. There's no place for your backwards thinking in the Republican party, so if you aren't Democrat you should join them. Your bitter racial opinions of minorities and your obviously low opinion of women would fit right in.

filmnoia
filmnoia

I didn't say I'm a Democrat. You don't have a clue. To the GOP, minorities are cynical props.  The minorities who join the GOP have some sense though. The line to the gravy train is shorter there.

How do you account for the fact that they have 46 black delegates this year and 167 (still a paltry amount) eight years ago? It's a white party with a diminishing demographic.