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April 15, 2004
The Monochromatic John Kerry

In an unusual broadside, CNN's Carlos Watson reports on an embarassing and potentially mortal flaw within the Kerry campaign -- the striking lack of diversity among his advisors:

Seizing on the nation's diversity -- the country is almost one-third non-white -- Bush has appointed African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and women to senior and non-stereotypical roles: Secretary of State, national security adviser, Transportation Secretary, White House Counsel.

Unlike Al Gore whose campaign manager, political director and finance director were African-American, the Kerry campaign, as of yet, has no one of color in the innermost circle, including Kerry's campaign manager, campaign chairperson, media adviser, policy director, foreign policy adviser, general election manager, convention planner, national finance chairman, and head of VP search team.

This is another case of Kerry speaking out of both sides of his mouth, and a particularly egregious one at that. Democrats have long smeared Republicans with race-baiting tactics; recently, Trent Lott was forced to resign his Senate leadership position -- by Republicans -- after some poorly-chosen words honoring Strom Thurmond on his birthday. Strikingly, no Democrat ever challenged Senator Chris Dodd for much the same kind of remarks honoring former KKK member and senior Senator Robert Byrd.

Democrats count on overwhelming support from minority voters, especially in the African-American community, and for the most part they get it. However, that appears to be changing as that community continues to improve economically and become more politically independent. Questions are being asked about the true Democratic commitment to equal opportunity. Al Sharpton may have initiated Howard Dean's demise by embarassing him on national TV for the lack of diversity in his administration of Vermont, which has one of the lowest percentages of minority voters in the country. Now that Kerry represents all Democrats, he is much more vulnerable to the same complaint.

In contrast, Bush has had a solid record as Governor and President of nominating African-Americans and Latinos into key positions. Alberto Gonzales is his chief counsel; Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell are two of his closest advisors. More examples will be produced on the campaign trail as Bush and Karl Rove continue to push for inroads into communities long closed off to Republican overtures.

Democratic behavior betrays a double standard, and almost worse, a condescension towards their constituencies. Despite decades of loyal party support, African-Americans will look at the people surrounding the major party nominee and wonder why key roles have been closed off to them. It won't take much wondering before they understand that what the Democrats offer is just an extension of the victimhood mentality that the far-left prizes, patronizing them with government handouts instead of opportunities to excel. A combination of better access to middle- and upper-class incomes and the stagnation of Democratic policy towards their communities will start opening doors to Republicans, especially when the Republican in question is demonstrably more at ease with them as people than their traditional allies.

UPDATE: Correcting Alberto Gonzalez, who I mixed up earlier with Miguel Estrada, hat tip to reader Dan.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 15, 2004 12:43 PM

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» Racism from Right on the Left Beach
Racism is bad. What is racism? Well it is clearly treating people differently and adversely due to their racial characteristics. Included in this is directing slurs based on a person's race. The two highest ranking African-Americans ever to hold a [Read More]

Tracked on April 15, 2004 1:23 PM

Counterspin seems to say that there are good racists and there are bad racists. His argument's moral relativism says that Trent Lott should be held more accountable for his words and Christopher Dodd should not be equally vilified. In his April 4 pos... [Read More]

Tracked on April 15, 2004 5:13 PM

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