Rand Paul’s pursuit of black voters splits GOPSubmitted by RandWatcher on Wed, 08/20/2014 - 08:28
Gingrich applauds, while others wonder whether its pyrrhic
By Ralph Z. Hallow | Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The Washington Times
Rand Paul is courting black voters unabashedly, traveling a path not taken by most Republican presidential hopefuls since Jack Kemp blitzed urban America with his message of economic hope and opportunity two decades ago.
From his speech at a historically black university to his essay decrying the militarization of local police, Mr. Paul is clearly trying to bridge a gap between the party of Abraham Lincoln and a minority voter base that has massively voted for Democrats.
But whether the senator from Kentucky can leverage his libertarian conservative views and anti-government message into a presidential electoral advantage depends on factors that may extend beyond his control.
Will black Americans’ frustration with President Obama translate into more Republican voters? Will Mr. Paul’s GOP rivals play the race card aggressively? Will the whole effort devolve in the press simply into a debate over limited government versus social engineering?
All of these questions will help determine the success of Mr. Paul’s strategy.
His foray is garnering praise in much of the media and from some politicians in both parties, but is dividing Republicans who know they must expand their voter base to look more like the face of America.