In an effort to further spur outreach efforts to African Americans in time for the November midterm elections, Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) Chairman Tim Kaine held an on-the-record meeting with some of the nation’s most influential members of the black blogosphere.
Politic365 was one of a handful of online media outlets invited to take part in this event hosted at the DNC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as were representatives from Blogging While Brown, Jack and Jill Politics, TheLoop21, The Black Snob, The Root, Legal Speaks and the Center for Community Change, among others. Also in attendance were members of the DNC’s Communications, New Media and Organizing for America teams.
Topics during the discussion ranged from voter mobilization strategies to the ways in which the DNC could more effectively leverage minority media outlets to better penetrate a critical demographic for the Democratic Party — African American communities.
With mid-term elections approximately 40 days out, Chairman Kaine candidly noted that there was not “a single night in primary season that we [the DNC] went out feeling worse than when we went in, but every primary presents new opportunities for growth for the party.”
Those new opportunities for growth begin with efforts to better understand and serve critical constituencies. Calling Democrats the “can do party,” Kaine insisted that now is the time to start telling the good news success stories about all that Democratic leadership has accomplished under President Barack Obama. From health insurage reform, to stopping the war in Iraq and developing new oversight for credit card and lending practices, Kaine expressed confidence in the notion that America will continue to evolve toward a place of growth and economic recovery if Democrats maintain their majority in Congress.
Several challenges lie ahead for the DNC, including the need to discern a strategy to reactivate, during midterms, the 15 million first-time voters who rallied behind then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008; and finding new ways to energize and excite the Democratic base.
To tackle these challenges, at least one part of the DNC’s strategy going forward will be to better engage with African American bloggers who can create more relevant ties to their communities. “Our elected body doesn’t look like America looks,” said Kaine. “To get from where we are to an electorate that like like America looks, the Democrats will do most of the heavy lifting.”
That work begins with the ability to develop better relationships with online entities that have a deeper footprint in the communities that the DNC is trying to reach and serve.
Theirs will be a long-term strategy, and the DNC now realizs the importance of finding ways to more fully integrate African American new media outlets into their constituent outreach activities beyond election season.