Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Saturday, January 03, 2009
Dear RNC: Why not just pick Alan Keyes?



I mean ... he's black, right wing, and certifiably nuts! He's what you call "the package." The comedy circus that is the race for Republican National Committee chair rolls merrily along:
After Chip Saltsman, a candidate for chairman, sent party members a CD that included the song "Barack the Magic Negro," he received sharp criticism from former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and other Republicans who worry that the party is losing touch with the moderate, suburban voters who are key to winning national elections. But nearly all of the candidates are facing intense scrutiny from party factions, as GOP officials view the next chairman as a vital figure in the post-Bush era.

The hopefuls are campaigning as though they were running for president, bombarding RNC members with calls and e-mails, appearing on national cable shows, enlisting allies to rally support and, in Saltsman's case, piloting his Piper Arrow plane around the country to meet with committee members.
Sorry... "flies" along... so besides Chip the Magic Dumbass, who are the contenders?

A regional divide has emerged between North and South, with former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele and Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis pitted against Saltsman of Tennessee and Katon Dawson, the South Carolina party chairman. While not criticizing the candidates or party members from the South, Steele and Anuzis have emphasized the importance of competing in states where the GOP has struggled in recent years.

"If we are a party that can speak to Utah, South Carolina and Kansas, but can't reach voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will be a losing party," Anuzis has said. "We must adopt a strategy that carries our message to every state." The Michigan leader has also tried to cast himself as a different kind of Republican, noting that he is a member of the Teamsters union and a rider of a Harley-Davidson Road King.

The two black candidates are perhaps the most ideologically divided. Former Ohio secretary of state J. Kenneth Blackwell has long been embraced by conservative groups such as the anti-tax Club for Growth, while Steele has faced criticism for being, until recently, a leader of the Republican Leadership Council, which urges party members to be more tolerant of candidates who support abortion rights.

Steele emphasizes the need for the GOP to appeal to African Americans and other minority groups, while Blackwell dismissed the Saltsman controversy as "hypersensitivity" and has stressed his experience as an elected official over concerns about diversity.

Dawson has spent weeks highlighting his efforts to get blacks involved in South Carolina politics, following revelations that until this fall he had belonged to an all-white country club.
I mean you really can't make this stuff up. Continuing:
And Kentucky's Mike Duncan, the current GOP chairman, is running for reelection despite sharp criticism from some party activists who wonder how he could be rewarded with another term after presiding over the November defeat. Gingrich has blasted what he believes are Duncan's overly aggressive efforts to link President-elect Barack Obama to the scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), while DeLay, who is close to Blackwell, mocked Duncan's "horrible idea" of creating a think tank in party headquarters.

But Duncan has been emboldened by post-Election Day victories in congressional runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana, giving him a clear message: The party was defeated by an unusually strong Obama organization and appeal that cannot be replicated.

"Obama was a phenomenon," Duncan said in an interview. "We know how to win elections."

Several GOP officials said Duncan's strong relationships with GOP leaders, fundraising ability and competence running the party make him the favorite, despite the Election Day results.

I still like Alan Keyes, but if they pick Ken "Shady Elections" Blackwell, who is despised by black people in Clarence Thomas proportions, and who is best known for stealing Ohio by disenfranchising black voters in 2004, and who is a true religious nut, same difference.

Meanwhile, Politico reports La Blackwell is gaining support among the wingnuts.
Two dozen conservative luminaries will announce today their support for former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for Republican Nation Committee chairman.

The group, which mixes leading economic conservatives, including Steve Forbes and Pat Toomey, and leading social conservatives, including James Dobson and Tony Perkins, had agreed to endorse and campaign together for a candidate based on a questionnaire assembled by veteran GOP activist Morton Blackwell (no relation).

"The conservative endorsers noted that there were other good candidates, but all agreed that Ken Blackwell is the best choice. They intend to contact grassroots conservatives across the country and ask them to urge the three RNC members from each state and U.S. territory to vote for Ken Blackwell for RNC chairman," they said in a press release going out shortly.

I can just see Steve Forbes, with that glassy-eyed look, telling fellow conservs that it's high time the party appeared in blackface, in order to appeal to the hip hoppers, and getting quite serious affirmation rather than gasps.

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posted by JReid @ 7:01 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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