Political Animal


April 15, 2013 4:25 PM Did McConnell Call For African-American “Outreach” To Republicans?

By Ed Kilgore

Last night Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner published a report on Mitch McConnell’s obsessive efforts to head off (or undermine) a right-wing primary challenge in 2014 (perhaps, other observers suggest, from Louisville business figure Matthew Bevin, who is being courted by Kentucky Tea Party activists, or perhaps from some other heavily funded direction.

That’s all interesting to be sure, but here’s what caught my attention in Shiner’s story, as part of a general theme of McConnell cleaving unto Rand Paul for protection:

McConnell has shown a special deference to his freshman partner. He has held multiple votes on Paul’s amendments, even though many of them barely attract supporters in the double digits, sometimes at the expense of veteran lawmakers’ proposals. He has repeatedly been among only a handful of Republicans to vote for Paul’s budget alternative. He hired Paul’s 2010 campaign manager. And aides take frequent opportunities to link the two men.
McConnell’s address to the National Urban League, for example, sounded a lot like Paul’s at Howard. According to a source familiar with McConnell’s speech, the leader told the room of black business leaders: “I want to see a day when more African-Americans look at the issues and realize that they identify with the Republican Party.” That message echoed Paul’s at the historically black university.

Yes, McConnell did his own “African-American outreach” speech the same week as Paul’s, though it attracted about one-tenth of one percent of Paul’s media attention. But check out the direct quote above. Sounds like Mitch is standing pat on the GOP’s merits and asking African-Americans to figure it out.

There are a lot of different ways for a guy like McConnell to send valentines to disgruntled wingnuts. But calling for African-Americans to conduct “outreach” to an unmoving GOP is a new one.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on April 15, 2013 4:39 PM:

    Yes, Mitch "Yertle, the Anti-gay, Gay Turtle" McConnell, your outreach program will net you some "Blah" people.

    The same kind of soul-less "Blah" sociopaths who'd sell their mothers, sisters, brothers, and other family members and friend, for the 30 pieces of silver your party offers them, just to stand with them so they don't look like a KKK group whose robes the G-damned sl*nt-eyed Ch*nky laundry lost.

  • JR on April 15, 2013 6:45 PM:

    I'm more troubled by the thought of McConnell sucking up to KY's junior senator. Following on reports that Cornyn is following Turd Cruz's lead, I'm wondering if a trend is growing. What's the word on Hatch and Lee?

  • randie donoff on April 16, 2013 5:27 AM:

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  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 16, 2013 9:13 AM:

    I want to see a day when more African-Americans look at the issues and realize that they identify with the Republican Party.

    Yeah, but I'd much prefer to see a day when the GOP look at the issue and realize that African Americans--and women, gays, other ethnic Americans, middle-, working-class, and poor people--are people worth identifying with rather than treated like a petty class of riff-raff that has to be pandered to. It really is that simple. That is if your not bought-and-paid-for empty suit...

  • clarence swinney on April 16, 2013 10:00 AM:

    Half of discretionary spending goes for defense.
    Half goes to mandatory spending.
    All the budget plans, so far, puts spending at lowest percent of GDP since 1962.
    Since that date, non-defense spending has never been less than 16%.
    The budgets on hand reduce it to 11.5% of GDP by 2023.
    The trend has been for Mandatory to increase more than non-Mandatory