As we type this, House Republicans at their annual issues conference at Williamsburg, Virginia's tony Kingsmill Resort are convening in the “Burwell Plantation room” — named for one of eighteenth-century Virginia’s most prominent slave-holding families — for a panel on “Successful Communication with Women and Minorities.” The panel, moderated by Rachel Campos-Duffy (of The Real World: San Francisco fame), features CNN commentator Ana Navarro and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, along with three white guys — Representatives Adam Kinzinger, Scott Rigell, and Frank Wolf (pictured).
The first lesson might be getting the sole congresswoman on the panel's name right.
Pressed by reporters yesterday on the unfortunate optics of the meeting, new chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Representative Greg Walden said:
"Actually, I don't do this part of it, by the way, somebody can fill you in on all the names, but it is more than just three white guys on the panel, and it was filled out after that went to press."
True, the panel on communicating with women and minorities is only half made up of white guys. That's a better mix than, say, the House committee chairs. Baby steps.