by Jason Johnson, Chief Political Correspondent
Pauline Pearce has some words of wisdom for the Republican party of the United States. Pearce became famous in England during the riots earlier this year when she was caught on camera chastising rioters and condemning their behavior in the midst of massive looting and violence in the Hackney district of London.
She’s a hero of sorts in the U.K. after her tirade and was viewed by over a million people on YouTube. The conservative Tory party had long been attempting to pin this riot on unruly minority youths (instead of as a response to police brutality and violence) and thought that Pearce would be a perfect cover to justify their message when they invited her to their annual conference. Instead, she turned the tables on them, noting that she was speaking to an all White crowd, and pointing out that as long as the Tory party made no legitimate efforts to involve Blacks they were never going to improve the conditions in the cities let alone prevent riots in the future.
Herman Cain needs to get Pearce on the fastest thing flying from London to Atlanta for a heart-to-heart and political planning session. The Republican Party has gotten better at co-opting Black folks to deliver their messages and getting Black candidates into office, but they’re still miserable at gaining Black votes. Why? Because they refuse to include Black people in their political planning and policy making process. Pearce’s admonition to a sea of White faces mirrors the same problem the American GOP has.
If the Republican party sincerely wants to grab the 10% to 12% of the black vote they used to pull in the 80’s and 90’s in presidential elections they have to stop insulting the intelligence of Black voters and start bringing them into the platform meetings. Cain better snatch Pauline up quick, I think Rick Perry might want to show up with her at a speech or two as well.
The Good News: the U.S economy gained over 100K jobs in the last month. The Bad News: unemployment is still at 9.1%. This is more or less what the Obama administration predicted several months ago, that despite their best efforts unemployment in America would hover around 9.0% for most of the election year.
I am on record as saying the magic number for the president to get re-elected is about 8.5% unemployment or a consistent downward trend in unemployment from summer until the fall elections. I am not revising that number, but it has to be a bit worrisome for Republicans that their default front-runner Mitt Romeny is still only scoring about 25% of his party’s vote in the primaries (even with the Perry implosion) and is tied or barely ahead of Obama in national polls.
I still maintain that it is almost impossible to imagine President Obama getting re-elected if the unemployment level stays stagnant, but at the same time it does not appear that his likely opponent can make any headway against him despite being a known national figure since 2008. Stay tuned to see if a strong Christmas season takes us down below 9.0% for the first time since March of this year.
I know Obama wants to portray himself as an underdog in this upcoming re-election in 2012 but I think Vice President Joe Biden might’ve gone a little too far. Biden says that the GOP could “absolutely” beat Obama in 2012 and that they’re hoping that Americans are wise enough to stick it out with the president through faith in his plans.
That’s your sales pitch?
This is almost as bad as Obama admitting on ABC that most Americans are “not” better off now than they were 4 years ago. I suspect both men in the White House can be credited with understanding the realities on the ground for most Americans, but this borderline political self-flagellation is bound to come back and haunt them in a series of commercials. Romney’s campaign had already been using video of unemployed African American workers at the CBC Job Fair in Miami. You mix some video of job-seeking Blacks, Biden saying they can lose and Obama saying Americans aren’t better off and the White House has just given the GOP the best anti-Obama video remix of all time. Might have to dust off a little Hope and Change to pick up spirits in the coming months.