DISRESPECTFUL OR JUST OVERBOOKED?….NAACP President Kweisi Mfume is upset that not all the Democratic presidential candidates showed up at an NAACP forum Monday:
The head of the civil rights group lambasted the no-shows ? Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Reps. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri and Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio ? declaring each of them a “persona non grata” in the African American community.
“Your political capital is the equivalent of Confederate dollars,” NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said.
That’s pretty over-the-top rhetoric, and the LA Times story has some interesting background to all this, especially the complaint by the candidates that it’s simply impossible to attend all these events:
Recent forums have been hosted by abortion-rights activists, environmentalists, labor unions and Latino leaders, among other groups. Several of the candidates are set to appear today before a gay rights organization in Washington.
“You cannot go to all these things,” said Steve Elmendorf, chief of staff for Gephardt’s campaign. “You could do two to three a week, every week, and do nothing else.”
OK, I can buy that, but I still have a couple of questions for the no-shows:
Maybe you can’t attend them all, but the NAACP? Shouldn’t that be in your top ten somewhere?
Surely these events are scheduled months in advance, so how is it possible that these guys had “scheduling conflicts”?
The Times mentions that this is just part of a larger issue that blacks are feeling increasingly taken for granted by Democratic party leaders. That’s a story I’d like to hear more about.