Sophia Nelson makes the case for more outreach:

That relationship may be lost for generations, thanks to a campaign by Sen. John McCain that seemed to simply concede the black vote. According to one senior aide, McCain had been polling close to 20 percent of the black vote before the primaries ended. But then his "Forgotten America" tour, which started soon after, never seemed to go anywhere. I knew of only one high-level black adviser or spokesperson on his full-time paid campaign staff. The GOP convention was embarrassingly devoid of people of color -- among more than 2,000 delegates, only 36 were black.

The problem, former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele told the Washington Times last week, is that party officials "don't give a damn." To them, he said, "outreach means let's throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them -- 'See, look at us.' And then we go back to the same old, same old."

"The party has simply not understood the importance of having highly visible black Republican operatives, elected officials and political spokespersons working for it on an ongoing basis," adds an African American who worked for the Republican National Committee during the administration of the first President Bush. "It's not our message as much as it is our messengers that are killing us."

I'd like to see a source on that 20 percent number. I'm not buying McCain getting anywhere close to that in this election. Anyway, it seems what Nelson is talking is diversity. She makes the case that GOP should look for blacks amongst its own and promote them more. Of course this exactly the kind of ID politics that modern Republicans argue against. Frankly, it does make good business sense to me.

I'd expect, over the next 20 years, for these guys to get better at it. The Dems nominated Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, a straight token move. But as I've said before, at least they were trying. From those failed diversity efforts you learn something. Ferraro may have been a token. Hillary Clinton is not. The most important thing, assuming the GOP even cares, is to start walking and keep walking. Black folks were not always property of the Dems. I see no reason why they always would be.

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