Romney Picks Whites Only Election Strategy
The signals from the past two weeks are unmistakable. Mitt Romney has settled on a whites-only strategy for winning the White House. Demographically, he can still do that. Euro-whites are 66% of all registered voters. But he’ll have to walk the fine line of racial pandering and denying it. Americans no longer elect overt racists.
In any case, a whites-only strategy means Romney must run an unseemly and distasteful campaign. He began it with a visit to a charter school in Philadelphia, a city known for both its cheesesteaks and its endemic black culture. Billed by the campaign as a reach out to the black community, the speech was actually used to hector black people about perceived failings. In reality, this kind of speech is aimed at some white people. It was nearly the worst speech Romney could have given if he’d actually wanted to court the black vote. But by itself, it was not quite a clear signal of an emerging whites-only strategy.
In hindsight, it would turn out to be the beginning of a week long, five-part roll out.
Any single-race strategy relies on fear. Some white voters believe a change of status is coming and they are afraid. Mostly, these are voters who are not racially discriminatory in daily word or deed. They fear becoming a minority for what they have seen it entails. They assume that contemporary people of color will behave just as badly as their own granddaddies did. So they can be convinced to vote along color lines. Call this “racialism,” something truly sad, but something a lot less loathsome than racism.
Still, whites-only remains a high risk strategy for Romney, because it also requires reduced turnout from non-whites. Last time whites were only 47% of actual voters – not a winning slice. In order for whites-only to prevail, a third party candidate would be helpful. Barring that, a race-biased voter suppression plan would be necessary. Oh…
If the Phillie visit wasn’t clear evidence, the three-day birther wallow that was Trump Week surely was. On Day 1, the campaign made a lukewarm attempt to distance itself from birtherism – while at the same time releasing Romney’s birth certificate. It was never made clear why, since no one had asked for it. So part two was to crack open the door.
Just 48 hours and five more coincidences later, it would become crystal clear. For the rest of the day, Trump made every cable appearance his people could book while the Romney Campaign pretended to wring their hands. Romney deplaned in front of Trumps gaudy brand while the campaign pretended it was “unfortunate.” Part 3 was to associate.Continued on the next page