Skip to comments.NAACP President Assails Three Democrats
Posted on 07/14/2003 9:54:16 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
NAACP President Assails Three Democrats By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 12:28 p.m. ET
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- NAACP President Kweisi Mfume criticized Democratic presidential candidates Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman and Dennis Kucinich on Monday for skipping the group's presidential forum, saying the three have become ``persona non grata'' among black voters.
Mfume lashed out at the three during a speech to about 1,000 gathered for the NAACP's convention. Each time Mfume mentioned their name an organmaster played a death knell chord.
``In essence, you now have become persona non grata,'' he said. ``Your political capital is the equivalent of confederate dollars.''
The crowd responded to his condemnation with applause and then a chorus of ``oooo'' at the mention of confederate money.
Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards were not planning to take part in the forum with Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton. But Kerry and Edwards escaped Mfume's wrath by deciding late Sunday to join their rivals.
Gephardt said he had a prior family obligation, Lieberman said he had campaign events in New York and Kucinich said he wanted to be in Washington to make votes in the House. Spokesman for all three said their absence wasn't meant to be a snub and they hoped to work with the NAACP throughout the campaign, but Mfume wouldn't excuse them.
``If you expect us to believe that you could not find 90 minutes to come by and address the issues affecting our nation, then you have no legitimacy over the next nine months in our community,'' he said to applause from the delegates.
Kerry's aides said the Massachusetts senator initially refused to take part in the forum to honor a verbal agreement quietly reached with three of his rivals -- Edwards of North Carolina; Gephardt, a congressman from Missouri; and Lieberman, a senator from Connecticut.
Under the agreement, the candidates would not share a stage other than during six debates being organized by the Democratic National Committee.
That would mean convincing the various groups that invite them to speak to give each candidate a designated time instead of having them appear together.
The joint appearances are a common format for dozens of presidential forums being organized by labor unions, environmentalists, civil rights activists, abortion rights supporters and other interest groups active in Democratic politics.
The NAACP was one such group and had invited all nine Democratic candidates to their convention.
Such forums are supposed to give the candidates a chance to woo Democratic voters, but the campaigns have received so many invitations this year that the forums are creating scheduling headaches. All nine candidates agreed that the Democratic National Committee would sponsor six official televised debates beginning in September.
Even though that agreement did not prevent the candidates from appearing at any other events, Kerry aides said four of the campaigns took it a step further in an attempt to bring order to their overall schedules.
Edwards originally said he would skip the NAACP forum because of scheduling conflicts, as did Gephardt, Lieberman and Kucinich of Ohio.
Kerry initially agreed to attend the convention but -- to honor his informal agreement with Edwards, Gephardt, Lieberman -- said he would not participate unless he could address the audience without the other candidates on stage.
But Edwards decided late Sunday to cancel his campaign events Monday in Iowa to participate and Kerry then agreed to take part, too -- under the ground rules set by the NAACP.
I prefer to call him "Sleazy Mofo."
The NAACP tolled it's own death knell with that truck dragging ad during the 2000 presidential election.
NOW is on it's last leg too.
Thanks to cable television, the internet, and the explosion of conservative print media, these left wing organizations can't get away with their over the top, hateful attacks on republicans. The spectacle of them spewing their venom on their own, is wondrous to behold.
Huh. Imagine that, Weezy speakin' for black voters. I guess he imagines they can't speak for themselves, eh?
I don't agree. The NAACP and the black vote are critical to the Democrat fortunes. Any substantial group that votes over 90% with one party all the time has tremendous influence on the electoral process. Moreover, the birthrate of blacks for women between the ages 15-19 is more than 150% compared to non-hispanic whites. Demographically, black and minority influence will continue to increase in the future. Far from having an exaggerated view of their own importance, the NAACP has only recently begun to realize that it should start exerting its power and influence. Combined with the predominantly Dem Hispanic vote, minorities are well on their way to becoming a majority. The face of American politics is changing literally and figuratively. The NAACP just fired the open salvo to the Dem white liberals that they won't stay in the back of the bus any longer.
Yes, Blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic, and yes, they are important to the success of any Democratic presidential candidate. However, it is not critical for any of these candidates to appear at the NAACP convention and kowtow to Swami and Jesse and Julian Bond. If a candidate earns the Democratic nomination the hard way (winning primaries), there will be time enough for him (sorry, Carole, but I don't take you seriously) to do any necessary fence mending with Black voters. The smart candidate will do it by articulating positions that appeal to Black voters, not by bussing Swami's posterior.
Kewl? Kute, wreally kute.
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