By Raynard Jackson
Just over a month ago Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP during their national convention. I thought Romney’s speech was horrible and quite a waste of time because he said nothing that would be of any interest to the Black community.
This column set off a firestorm of reactions from across the country. Most people, of all political stripes, thought my analysis was right on the mark. The column was read at the highest levels of the Romney campaign and even led to one of his senior communications advisers attempting to discredit my analysis in a series of private emails. This advisor is a Black female that I am acquainted with.
In her email to me, she claimed that, “some of his [Romney’s] most senior policy and communications people are Black.” I asked her to name them and she refused. I will let you make your own conclusion. She even thought it would be good for us to sit down and talk about the campaign, so I accepted her offer, but no response. Again, I will let you make your own conclusion.
The campaign made a feeble attempt to address some of the concerns laid out in my column by releasing a ridiculous video titled, “We Need Mitt Romney.” It was sent out by Romney aide, Joshua Baca, National Coalitions Director for the campaign. Baca name looks Hispanic, but suffice it to say, he is not Black.
The video was poorly produced and poorly scripted. It contained a series of Blacks who stated, “We need Romney.” They never told us who “we” is. They never made the case for why Romney was relevant to and for the Black community. There was absolutely no thought put into this video. There were no names given to identify who these people were. They just grabbed some no name people and put them in front of the camera. It’s embarrassing (http://youtu.be/HyDsZ-OtaOI).
There still are no pictures of Blacks anywhere to be found on Romney’s campaign website. There is a full section targeting the Hispanic vote, even a section in Spanish; but nothing targeting the Black community. Enough said!
This is what happens when you have no capable Blacks around to advice and work on a campaign. If Baca is in charge of coalitions, then why has he not reached out to experienced operatives like Shannon Reeves, Allegra McCullough, David Byrd, Aaron Manaigo, Francis Johnson, Ada Fisher or James House? Why has he not reached out to the National Association of Black Accountants, the National Association of Black MBAs, or the National Association of Black Engineers, to name a few? I know the leaders of most these groups and know for a fact certain that they would be fertile ground for an intelligent message put forward from the Romney campaign. The few Blacks Romney may have around him are all functional people—meaning they follow orders; they don’t give the orders! That is what I mean when I talk about being in a position of power—can they authorize an expenditure of money, can they get an event on Romney’s schedule, or can they get a private meeting on Romney’s calendar?
I would much rather the Romney campaign simply tell the Black community straight-up that they have no interest in our vote because their actions speak so loud that I can’t hear a damn thing they are saying!
I find this senior advisor’s response to my column illustrative of everything that’s wrong with the Romney campaign. They are totally incapable of giving direct answers to the most basic of questions. Who are the Blacks that are supposedly on the campaign? Why are there no Blacks on the campaign website? Is Romney ever going to meet and speak with Black Republicans?
With Romney and his campaign, relative to Blacks, when all is said and done, there nothing said and nothing done!
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. His website is: www.raynardjackson.com.