By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published Saturday, September 8, 2012
At the Republican National Convention in Tampa convention planners strived to fill the podium with minority speakers who would make the party’s case that the GOP represents their interests. By all accounts the effort from the podium was a success. But on the convention floor, the gathering of delegates looked more like a country club gathering of whites rather than an inclusive party made up of diverse racial and ethnic groups.
Black and Hispanic delegates were few and far between; the Washington Post reported that just 2 percent of GOP delegates at the RNC were “people of color” — compared to 40 percent at the DNC.
The Republican Party has a lot of work to do.
Nationwide, GOP efforts at minority outreach tend to fall flat. The party’s idea of grassroots outreach usually means sending out press releases touting their efforts which usually amount to occasionally hiring a black or Hispanic to go into those respective communities to recruit voters. The GOP’s paltry attempts bear little fruit because all they are doing is watering the lawn when what they need to do is irrigate the field and cover it with a heavy dose of fertilizer.
One party leader I spoke with about the GOP’s minority outreach efforts who wished to remain anonymous said, “It’s pretty bad, brother. It’s all smoke and mirrors.”
From the podium at the convention, the GOP had plenty of stars, including Mia Love, Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice, Suzanna Martinez and Artur Davis. The top-down approach of promoting minorities within the party isn’t without its merits and should be part of a successful minority outreach strategy.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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