I again did not schlep out to the GOP opposition press conference this morning, which again was held in the new location which would have required me to waste several hours of this historic, not to mention beautiful, final day of the Democratic National Convention. I watched on live streaming video, to watch supposed VP finalist Tim Pawlenty, gov of RNC host state Minnesota, take his turn as yet another Republican with no foreign policy experience question Barack Obama's experience and judgment to be commander-in-chief. Message: last night Bill Clinton and Joe Biden and John Kerry and others told you that Obama is ready to lead, but don't listen to them.
He rolled out another "ad" (these are for the most part just promotional videos), this one showing images of scary world leaders and events while Bill Clinton, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Barack Obama himself spoke of his lack of qualifications in old clips. It's a good piece. You'll see a lot of this kind of stuff next week in St. Paul, presumably.
Of course, one reason they have to do this is because, aside from the 30 percent of Bush believers remaining, the American people give no credence to anything that any prominent Republicans in any way connected with foreign policy have to say -- or, those Republicans disagree with McCain.(see Dick Lugar, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee).
The GOP also again flanked their speaker with two diverse people. (It reminds me of the old Woody Allen line about getting hired as the "show Jew" at a New York ad firm that, to demonstrate its willingness to hire minorities, needed someone to sit in an office and "look Jewish... I tried to look Jewish desperately; I used to read my memos from right to left.")
Unfortunately, the pickings are slim, so they had to recycle Rosaria Marin; they did find a different black guy, Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams.
Williams, one of three members of that commission, is arguably the highest-ranking Black Republican in the country. Not that the competition is fierce, mind you. He is one of just 89 elected black Republicans in the US, at least as of mid-2007, according to the National Black Republicans Association, none of whom hold federal office and only three of whom were elected at the state-wide level: Williams and two judges. Of the remainder, the NBRA lists three state senators, six state representatives, five county sheriffs, five mayors, and then a smattering of county and municipal judges, city councilors, school board members, and other city and county offices.
Those show Republicans will get their turns at the GOP conference in Minnesota next week, but the kind of person the delegates really want to hear from is US Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, who was the fourth guy on the stage this morning. Kyl is a red-meat, no-excuses conservative (he must have been burning at Marin's praise of McCain's 'reasonable' immigration reform attempts) who might have been the VP nominee had the party nominated someone from any other state.
Kyl is not exactly Mr. Diversity: He has a 7% rating from the NAACP, 100% from the Christian Coalition, 0% from NARAL, and 0% from HRC (gay rights) -- and of course he wants to build a wall on the southern border, deport all illegal aliens, deny them access to all services, and end the guest worker program. Muy bien, senior Kyl! I wonder if he and Marin (who was born in Mexico City and came to California with her working-class parents at age 14, speaking no English,and worked her way up to US Treasurer) will spend some quality time together in Denver this week.