Building Blocs

As Democrats fret over swing-state polls, John Kerry has enlisted New York political operative Bill Lynch to turn out the minority vote. Lynch spoke to Greg Sargent.

Why can’t Kerry count on a big minority turnout?
The GOP is trying to hold down the black vote. They don’t expect blacks to vote for Bush. They just want blacks comfortable enough with him to stay home.

Why were Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice MIA at the GOP convention?
Powell was showcased in 2000, but that made some conservative whites stay home. This time they can’t afford to lose any white voters.

Critics have noted that Kerry doesn’t have many black staffers.
The chief speechwriter and some top policy people are black. We took a picture of all our black staffers. We’ll send it to voters in some form.

What else are you doing to galvanize core voters?
We’re launching a larger media buy for African-Americans, Latinos, and women than any campaign in history. Spike Lee’s company will do ads.

Will Kerry be the second black president?
I’d be happy to anoint him the next black president—but first he has to get more black votes than Clinton.

Building Blocs