Skip to comments.Rand Paul's Play to Win Over Black Voters at Howard University
Posted on 04/09/2013 9:25:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The GOP minority outreach efforts continue: This time, its Sen. Rand Paul taking the message to a historically black university.
How the libertarian-minded senator is received will indicate how well GOP is making inroads with minorities.
Paul will be delivering a speech at Howard University on Wednesday, where hell talk about the importance of outreach to younger voters, as well as minority groups, according to his office. He also plans to address school choice and civil liberties.
The Kentucky Republicans appearance echoes the recommendations made in the Republican National Committees autopsy report, detailing why the party lost the 2012 election and urging the party to court minority and young voters. Pauls positions on foreign policy, Internet freedom, and reforming drug laws appeal to younger voters on college campuses. He also has targeted mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes, which disproportionately affects African-Americans.
But Paul makes for an unusual GOP emissary to black voters. His libertarian, small-government bent is a tough sell in the African-American community, which has long viewed federal government intervention as necessary for securing equal rights. Blacks also make up a disproportionate share of the federal workforce.
While running for Senate in 2010, Pauls comments that the federal government shouldnt be involved in forcing private businesses not to racially discriminate created a firestorm. He had to scramble to clarify that he supports the Civil Rights Act and is against segregation in public spaces, and by the next day, he seemed to reverse his position on discrimination by private entities.
The choice of venue for Pauls speech is also notable. Howard University rarely draws prominent Republican speakers to campus: Colin Powell gave Howards commencement speech in 1994, and in 1981, then-Vice President Bush received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement speech. But George W. Bush declined the invitation to speak at Howard during his 2000 campaign, and Al Gore spoke instead. The younger Bushs name was floated to deliver the 2002 commencement speech, which was met with wide protest.
Republicans havent completely ignored major black communities or organizations. Mitt Romney spoke to the NAACP convention in 2012but he was met with boos when he said he wanted to repeal President Obamas health care law.
The partys tactics appear to be shifting after Romney lost the 2012 election while only pulling 6 percent of the black vote. National Republicans are increasingly acknowledging that the party can no longer ignore minority groups if it wants to remain relevant in the future. RNC chairman Reince Priebus met with black leaders in Brooklyn for a listening session as part of GOP outreach efforts. The political impetus for Republicans to embrace immigration reform is tied to how badly they lost the Hispanic vote in 2012. Republicans like Jeb Bush have pushed school reform as an issue that could help the GOP make inroads with urban, minority voters.
It appears Paul has gotten the message. Hes already delivered a major speech to an important Hispanic group on immigration reformeven peppering it with some Spanish, for good measure. His plans to address school choice during his Howard speech also underscore an effort to speak on issues that resonate within the black community. That kind of approach, while not likely to win over many African-Americans, could at least make them think twice about the Republican Party. That alone could do wonders for the partys outreach efforts.
One side wants it for all people. Another side doesn't.
If Paul does that, and if he delivers the message clearly, it will be a major step forward for freedom. With the right messenger, we could put the racist politics of the 1852-2012 Democrats behind us - finally.
Good Old Howard.
I remember back in 68 when they burned one of our fire trucks up there.
Agree. I wish him much success.
When Sen Paul goes to here: http://www.brandeis.edu/ then I will be impressed.
I think that's the ticket, though it's going to be a tough sell. That there are no solutions for "the black community" or the "latino community", etc., but a single set of solutions for the benefit of everyone.
Message to Rand:
Ignore the advice of the GOP establishment, ignore the “groups” and speak to the people.
The GOP is trying to piece together a coalition of groups. That is a losing game, the dems already have it down pat. The way to fight them is to speak directly to the hearts of individuals, like Reagan did, an let them know that they aren’t seen as a nameless segment of a group, but as a living, breathing, loving, laughing, struggling, individual human being.
The GOP is just TOO stupid to understand the dignity of that approach.
I am sure he will brush over the parts about cutting spending and getting rid of departments and privatizing SS and medicare, all the stuff they will boo him for.
Jack Kemp claimed his happy face talk would get get him minority votes, that ‘capital gains tax cuts’ would make them all rich. In practice it didnt get him any in 1996.
Freedom is a tough sell....hell, you can’t even give it away.................
” The Kentucky Republicans appearance echoes the recommendations made in the Republican National Committees autopsy report, detailing why the party lost the 2012 election... “
If you want to know why we need an “autopsy report”, just look at the RNC.
Exactly! Don't go wandering into the mushy swamp of grievances. Stay with first principals, the right to life(abortion in the black community), liberty(not a plantation with rations for the slaves), the pursuit of happiness(not a handout to keep you happy). Stay with eternal truths. Don't PANDER!
To talk to those individuals, it is easiest to go where they group.
In Rand Paul black individuals will find a President who actually wants to end the counterproductive War on Drugs.
They don’t want “freedom”. They already have it, and can’t handle it. They want to be taken care of. They also want stuff.
Freedom is an easy sell. It’s the responsibility that comes with it that some communities want no part of.
There is a difference between speaking to a group of individuals, and speaking to individuals as a group.
I am advocating for the former.