Obama Inspires Black People to Run for Congress As Republicans

By
J.C. Watts Photo: Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Steele recently admitted that black people "don't have a reason" to vote Republican. But maybe he's selling his party's appeal short, because this year there are more black GOP candidates for Congress than at any time since Reconstruction — 32 in all. According to the Times, it's all about President Obama — the "dissatisfaction" with his administration, as well as the inspiration he provides as a successful black politician. However — not to rain on their parades or anything — we'd just point out that the success of Obama doesn't really portend success for black candidates running as Republicans. Only two black Republicans have served in Congress since the thirties, and none since J.C. Watts retired in 2003. And party officials themselves only believe that about 5 of this year's crop of 32 candidates even have a chance of winning their races. Mostly because they can't count on the support of black Democrats, or of white Republicans, who, as the Times puts gently, "sometimes do not welcome" blacks.

Black Hopefuls Pick This Year in G.O.P. Races [NYT]