Romney Courts the White Vote by Talking to the NAACP

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Mitt Romney gave a speech to the NAACP today, and it didn’t go well. He was interrupted by periodic booing, got poor reviews from the audience afterward, and was lambasted by NAACP leaders after he had left. This was pretty predictable, so why did Romney bother? I think Jamelle Bouie has it about right:

The point of this address to the NAACP was to send a signal to right-leaning, suburban white voters—that Mitt Romney is tolerant, and won’t represent the bigots in his party. But there’s a sense in which Romney had it both ways: Not only did he reassure hesitant whites, but by pledging to repeal Obamacare—and being booed by the audience—he likely increased his standing with those who do resent African Americans. By going to an audience of black professionals and sticking with his stump speech, there’s a sense in which Romney might receive credit for refusing to “pander.”

It’s a pretty easy win for Romney. He gets points for not being afraid to venture into hostile territory, and then gets more points for not tailoring his message to win votes. He had no real chance of winning any of these votes in the first place, which means that sticking with his standard stump speech was something less than a profile in courage, but he probably earns some points anyway.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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