Patrick Riding High in Massachusetts

August 4, 2006

Source: Groff/Ellison Political Report

As the campaign season jumped this year in earnest, many political observers said Harold Ford, Jr., Kenneth Blackwell and Lynn Swann were the big names to watch.

Very few people mentioned Deval Patrick. The former US Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Clinton administration was seen as a long shot in his ambitious bid for Governor of Massachusetts.

Running against the current state Attorney General and a big money venture capitalist, Mr. Patrick was an unmistakable under-dog at the time, with heightening odds stacked against him.

But as the campaign stumped through the streets, neighborhoods and towns of the Bay State, something unusual happened. Patrick’s community and opportunity themes resonated heavily with Massachusetts Democrats. and his poll numbers began to rise. By June, signs of Patrick as a serious contender began to surface, with Patrick looking more credible … and much more gubernatorial. He wowed the faithful at his state party’s convention with a speech on “Politics and Hope.”

Riding the wave of what the Boston Globe called the ” … day’s most enthusiastic response” Mr. Patrick secured the top line on the September 19th primary ballot by winning 58% of the vote.

Besides winning the coveted top line at the convention, Mr. Patrick leads most primary polls and mock match-ups with presumptive Republican nominee Lt. Governor Kerry Healey.

In fact, recent polls show Patrick leading Attorney General Thomas Reilly by an average of 9 points, and businessman Chris Gabrieli by over 12 points. In a fall showdown with the Lt. Governor, Patrick leads by an average of 14 points in the last three polls. That 14 point advantage is a tremendous boost to the Patrick campaign, averaging higher than either AG Reilly or Gabrieli leads in potential match ups with Healey. It may also galvanize anti-Republican sentiment in that state.

If the polls prove correct, the big name on November 8th may very well be that of Deval Patrick .


Commentary: If Condi Rice is Incompetent as Secretary of State…

July 31, 2006

By: Deborah Mathis,

It was bound to happen that Condoleezza Rice’s magic would fade. She had a long honeymoon, but it may be over. Last week, Republicans — that’s right, Republicans — began whispering that the secretary of state was in over her head in dealing with the sticky, maddening, always impetuous Middle East. Some even tossed around the “I” word — incompetence.

I, for one, never believed Rice deserved to be the nation’s top diplomat, but not because she doesn’t possess the intelligence and experience for the job; I think she does. Rice is no Harriet Myers, who may well have lacked the chops to sit on the highest court in the land, especially considering she had never so much as presided over traffic court. It’s just as well that she slithered back to the White House counsel’s office to affirm more bum decisions by the client-in-chief.

Rice has the portfolio. Her academic credentials are strong and impressive. She certainly has the charm thing down. And she was, after all, national security adviser. The woman knows her stuff, no doubt. What makes her unfit as secretary of state is not that she doesn’t know what to do to make things better for global relationships, but rather that she doesn’t do it. The man who got her gig prefers dictation over diplomacy and lording over listening. It’s his way or the highway, and Condi Rice is his parrot. More>>>

Changing Places: Could Black Republicans Alter African-American Voting Patterns?

July 25, 2006

Here is an interesting post from that I just had to share.

BILL KING — Almost as soon as President Bush was declared victorious in the 2004 election, some Republicans immediately turned their attentions (and/or ambitions) towards how to keep this roll going. For half the Senate and numerous Republican governors, that meant increasing their vacation time in New Hampshire and Iowa. For many Republican supporters it meant focusing their attention on an heiress from the current administration: Condi. The 2008 election is historic in that it will be the first election since 1952 where there is no incumbent president or incumbent vice president running. In ‘52, the Republicans chose the moderate and wildly popular former general Dwight D. Eisenhower to reverse their 24-year election slump. This time around, Republicans may be looking to a new formula for keeping power in the midst of sagging poll numbers and lingering problems. Condolezza Rice is the member of this administration who runs counter to nearly every idea Americans have about the Bush White House and Republicans. She is female and fairly young in what at times appears to be a male-dominated administration personified by a crotchety, elderly Vice President who has some trouble maintaining his constitutional duty of staying alive. But perhaps, most importantly, she is an African-American, in a party which has struggled mightily to attract any African-Americans to their ranks. Currently, zero black members of Congress are Republican. Bush pulled in 11% of the African-American vote in the 2004 election, which was actually an increase from 2000. Here in Georgia, African-Americans make up approximately 50% of the Democratic voters in the state. And the Republicans did little to endear themselves to blacks nationwide after the rather slow and inept response to Hurricane Katrina unfolded on national television, greatly affecting the large, urban African-American population of New Orleans. (You may remember “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”?)

Read More >>>

Where’s Condi?

July 25, 2006

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Columnist

The day before President Bush spoke to the NAACP, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. The meeting didn’t happen. The CBC did not say why it was cancelled, or when it would be rescheduled. But if it had happened, the Caucus would, and should, have asked Condi tough questions on Bush foreign policy. If it did, it wouldn’t have been the first time Rice has been on the foreign policy hot seat. In February, Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee virtually dumped Bush’s international miscues on her.

That’s fair and unfair. Rice is Bush’s point person on foreign policy. Her job is to sell administration policy decisions on North Korean nukes, Iran, the Middle East turmoil, the war on terrorism, and Iraq. When things go wrong internationally, she, as other Secretarys of State have, will take heat. More>>>

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a columnist for, a political analyst and social issues commentator. He is also the author of the forthcoming, The Emerging Black GOP Majority (Middle Passage Press, September 2006). The book is a hard-hitting look at Bush and The GOP’s court of black voters.

Author Reginald Bohannon responds to comments from AA Political Opinion reader

July 23, 2006

Source: Reginald Bohannon |


To personally respond to some of your comments, you stated that, “I had thought we has stopped carrying water for massa.” First of all, I think you demean yourself when you write in this type of language. Secondly, with 90-95% of blacks voting for the Democratic Party, I would think that it is the majority of blacks, including you, that is carrying the water for the Democratic Party.

Case in point; as I write in my book, during the 2004 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Al Sharpton was the only black candidate amongst seven whites. Knowing that Sharpton would garner the black vote and the other seven white candidate’s votes would be split amongst white voters, the party decided to get Donna Brazille (a black lady) to talk another black person (Carol Moseley-Braun) into running in the race, only to split up Sharpton’s support. Months later after both of their campaigns were failing, Brazille asked both Sharpton and Moseley-Braun to drop out.

Another case in point; in the past few years, the Democratic Party powers that be had three opportunities to select a black Democrat to either run for U.S. senate or outright become a U.S. senator without having to be elected. Each time, they selected a 70-plus year-old white man (New Jersey – Lautenberg; Minnesota – Mondale). The other one was in my state of Georgia, the cradle of Civil Rights, home of Dr. King as well as Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson and other prominent black democrats. But rather than the Democrat governor selecting a black icon such as Jackson or Young, he selected a 70-plus year-old white man, Zell Miller. Miller though, came back to haunt the Democratic Party because he supported President Bush. Now tell me, who is carrying water?

If you were to get my book, “Coming Out of the Republican Closet – Coming to terms with being black, patriotic, and conservative”, you would get a better understanding of politics including both the Democrats and Republicans relationship with blacks. In my book, I list other writers, particularly black writers, who have been studying the issues much longer than I have and they can give you a great lesson on politics and race.

Thank you.

Reginald Bohannon

Readers comment on article regarding Reginald Bohannon book “Coming Out of the Republican Closet”

July 23, 2006

Richard Says:

Mr Bohannon.. I do look forward to reading your book. However.. it comes as something of a shock to me that someone with even a CASUAL read of american history would think that the NAACP would in some way need to be educated about the Republican Party or its role in championing the end of slavery. After all.. most politically active blacks WERE members of the Republican Party into the 1950s when the support for the Party was almost nonexistent among WHITES who lived in the south… that is Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Lousiana, Arkansas, and Texas. Any child can open a history book and show you that several blacks served in the United States Senate in the post civil war era and they were all Republicans… in fact they were called RADICAL REPUBLICANS and if Rush Limbaugh had had a radio show then… he’d have spit out those words with the same contempt he says “LIBERAL” today(incidentally… why beat around George Bush… when you say Liberal you are actually saying “northeastern secular jew” or it’s equivalent).

We know the south was solidly Democratic and solidly racist and that the Northern Democrats generally maintained peace within the party by being mealymouthed, as they are today. on the very divisive and fundamental issues that face us. Meanwhile.. the Republican Party was mainly the party of the north and west… it abandoned it’s abolitionist and anti racist elements from the period including the election compromise of 1876 through the split in the party in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt ran on his own Bull Moose Party ticket while his protege Taft ran with the support of big business creating the business wing of the Republican Party and the remnant of liberal and moderate Republicans who are being run out of the party nowadays like McCain, Snowe, Nelson Rockefeller et al.

Strom Thurmond who was a lifelong democrat through his siring an illegitimate black child, storming the beaches of Normandy to fight for freedom justice and democracy, then promptly returned home to run for Governor of South Carolina and then in 1948 ran a campaign for President on a Segregationist ticket in a challenge to the Democratic Party then being led by Roosevelt’s succesor Truman who apparently wasn’t QUITE racist enough for Thurmond’s liking. Thurmond, Jesse Helms and the various dixiecrats who serve as the villains in the civil rights movement were ALL Democrats it’s true. However… after their fellow dixiecrat Lyndon Johnson claimed he would see through the mealy mouthed northeastern Liberal President John Kennedy’s pledges on civil rights and then signed the civil rights act of 1964 and 1965 what did all those Southern Democrats do? Well.. as I hope I will see noted in your book. You will come to grips with the fact that the solid Democratic south is now solidly Republican. That the black political leaders who served as mayors of Atlanta and made changes which created that city, temporarily, as a black mecca, were indeed Democrats in the 1970s. That the last Democratic President before Bill Clinton was a Governor of Georgia who had spoken out against segregation. That Georgia had no Republican Party to speak of(except for the blacks who registered as republicans for decades after the party ceased being the “party of Lincoln” in 1912… as MOST blacks, if they COULD register to vote, registered Republican). Hopefully your book will be honest about the oft used Republican talking point “a greater percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats and Lyndon Johnson thanked the Republicans who voted for the civil rights act as he couldn’t have gotten it through without them.”… well we all know about lies, damned lies and statistics! The Republicans made up a minority of the Senate and House at the time as their party almost did not exist in the SOLID SOUTH. The greater percentage of Republicans represented a LESSER NUMBER of actual Senators and Congressman as Democrats made up a wide majority of both houses and indeed NORTHERN DEMOCRATS and PRE-1965 REPUBLICANS did indeed stand together to support Civil Rights.

But WHY did Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Trent Lott et al LEAVE the Democratic Party and all become Republicans after 1965? Was it the Democratic stance on the windfall profits tax or abortion? No… it was Civil Rights. The Republican Party went from being a minority party to near parity with the larger Democratic Party based on THE WHITE MALE RESPONSE TO LEGALLY ENFORCED EQUITY BY THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. All the talking points in the world can’t overcome that truth. One need only look at what the Republican party does, emphasizes, activates for, and says.. to see behind it an agenda based on WHITE MALE RULE over all the Empire of the United States sees and surveys. That is the right-wing and republican parties disease and why black conservatives, no matter how well intentioned, spoken, or educated ultimately rest on a foundation of clay and why black americans who are indeed relatively traditional and conservative DO make a more or less correctly informed pull of that lever for Democrats. We may not like the variety of issues included under the Democratic tent… racist labor unions, communists, poorly thought out radicalisms, or militant gay activists… but we ALSO know that all of these things MUST be dealt with within a body politic where all people stand equal OR else it doesn’t make a difference WHAT any of us think. The black community.. perhaps reflexively if it errs… it errs on the side of EXPANSION of rights and openness of the political process, legislatures, and courts to those seeking that expansion. We may share a culture and christian tradition with the southern white man and get along with him well on a one to one basis, but we go 90% to 95% percent or BETTER voting against any agenda that makes him and his interests sovereign over all who come under the American umbrella. That is an honorable role for our people to play and while I feel we MUST indeed hear conservatism well and logically articulated, we do well to avoid ‘talking points’, talk radio, and bumper sticker so-called “conservative” philosophy being aimed into the american body politic by the Rush Limbaugh’s and Tony Snows of the world and their spiritual forebear Goebbels.

Castigation of Condi Betrays Black Tradition

July 22, 2006

by Carletta Skinner


Condoleezza Rice is a bright star in space that contains few African-Americans and even fewer African-American women.

Normally, this would be a cause for great celebration in the black community.

She is the first black woman and only the second woman ever to serve as our nation’s Secretary of State, but her phenomenal rise has nonetheless been met with derision from white liberals and many in the black community.  Why?  Quite simply, it is because Condoleezza Rice is a conservative black serving in a Republican administration.

Fifty years ago, the story would have been different.  United under the same cause – civil rights – African-Americans stood together against racial oppression to built their own communities.  Blacks – by law and choice – gave their business to black doctors and lawyers, shopped at black stores and sent their children to be educated by black teachers.  And they roundly celebrated the achievement of other blacks.

Someone of Secretary Rice’s credentials would truly be a hero to the blacks of that bygone era.

At the age of three, Condoleezza Rice learned to play the piano and was soon playing Bach and Beethoven.  After a successful professional career in both the business and educational sectors, she joined President George W. Bush’s staff in 2000 as his national security advisor before becoming Secretary of State.  As an expert on Russia and master of several languages, she is well-suited for the job.

But all this is of little consequence to some simply because Secretary Rice is and works for a Republican.

Yet Secretary Rice remains dignified and calm in the face of blatantly racist attacks.  In 2004, for example, liberal cartoonist Ted Rall used the term “house nigga” to describe her.  What makes things worse is that black politicians or our so-called community leaders did not come to her defense or demand an apology from Rall.

Such treatment is clearly uncalled for.  Our community ought to be ashamed for failing to defend her.  Black liberals who accuse her of being a race traitor betray their envy toward a woman they should be proud of, regardless of her political ideology.

This indicates that there really is no African-American unity today.  It has been replaced with what I call the “crab theory.”  If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket, they will fight to get out of the bucket – even if it involves climbing on top of another crab and knocking it down.  There’s no thought given to the teamwork of the past.

It seems our so-called black leaders want people to think and act a certain way.  “Black” becomes a code word used to describe a certain mindset.  If you don’t have it, you’re open to attack.  Black politicians and activists, for instance, don’t usually defend black conservatives against racist remarks.

Secretary Rice seems to have accepted black rejection as simply the way things are and that things are not likely to change.  Despite the antipathy, she still stands as a role model for young African-Americans.  She is proof-positive that blacks can and do achieve through hard work and perseverance, and that we all have the potential to rise in a career that fulfills our passion.

Condoleezza Rice is truly remarkable, but she is unappreciated by many African-Americans.  We need to reconsider who is and isn’t worthy of our appreciation and learn to celebrate all of our achievements – no matter which political party to which a person belongs.

—-Carletta Skinner is a member of the National Advisory Council of the black leadership network Project 21.  Comments may be sent to

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.