Tampa and the invisible Southern white male

Cowboy-hatted Texas delegates were a strong presence on the floor of the Republican National Convention – but not so much on the stage. AP/Patrick Semansky

Cowboy-hatted Texas delegates were a strong presence on the floor of the Republican National Convention – but not so much on the stage. AP/Patrick Semansky

TAMPA — With Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the history books, and a three-day meeting of Democrats in Charlotte only days away, one bankable fact is clear.

The modern convention – at least the part you see on television — is less about what a political party is, and more about who it needs.

As a result, there were many dogs that didn’t bark at the just-ended Republican National Convention.
Same-sex marriage was never disparaged, except in the vaguest terms. Illegal immigration received only a rare mention. When it did surface, the word “illegal” had disappeared. The tea party – the most important political movement of this young century – didn’t exist in Tampa. At least, not by name, and not on television.

The edges were smoothed on anything that might offend skittish independents needed if Romney is to win in November.

But the biggest dog that didn’t bark in Tampa – perhaps “howl” is the better word – was the Southern white male. Of the dozens and dozens of personalities that populated an Isaac-shortened roster of speakers, only a handful came from the GOP’s most reliable and dominant voter base.

Ted Cruz, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Texas, was part of the non-stop parade of Hispanics on the stage.

Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, both U.S. senators from Kentucky, could be dismissed as mere border-state figures. To cite former Gov. Jeb Bush is to reignite the debate over whether Florida truly qualifies as part of the South.

And before you point to that Confederate veteran, the outlaw Josey Wales, remember that Clint Eastwood was once mayor of Carmel, Calif.

No, the only white males from traditional Southern states on the RNC’s prime-time stage were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Attorney General Sam Olens, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

That’s actually less than meets the eye. Olens, Gingrich and McDonnell were required to share their podiums with women.

(This was particularly important for McDonnell, who this year introduced legislation to require some women seeking an abortion to obtain a transvaginal ultrasound. A less stringent version ultimately passed.)

“That’s bizarre,” conceded delegate and state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, addressing the lack of people who look like him who were put before TV cameras. He quickly elaborated that it bespeaks a successful future for the GOP – despite the fact that, according to one study, only 2 percent of the 2,286 delegates to the convention were African-American.

“The strongest message out of this whole deal is the strength of our farm team. No pun intended,” he said. Black pointed to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Alabama Democratic congressman Arturo Davis, and Mia Love, an African-American candidate for Congress from Utah.

“I celebrate it as a great way to depict the strength of the party. I don’t celebrate it as a smart move,” Black said.

And yet it was that, too.

“[Romney strategists] are more concerned about their swing states now, and they should be. I don’t feel snubbed,” said state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, a convention guest.

Might there be other reasons for avoiding Southern men? Probably.

“It’s who endorsed who. And most of the folks in the South went with Newt,” said state Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cassville. Olens, he pointed out, was the most prominent statewide elected official in Georgia to step out front for Romney.

But Loudermilk also agreed that the presidential contest is essentially over in the South.

In an interview this week, GOP strategist Ralph Reed said much the same thing – though on a slightly different topic. The Tampa convention became the place where Romney finally felt comfortable enough to discuss his Mormon faith.

Reed maintains that anti-Mormon bigotry is a bigger problem among liberals. The founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition admits that it exists among conservatives, too, but says that this no longer matters.

“If you’ve got a grandma sitting in the third row of an independent Baptist, white sideboard church who can’t bring herself to vote for a Mormon because she believes it’s a heresy, she’s more than likely in north Georgia, upstate South Carolina or eastern Tennessee,” Reed said. “And we don’t need her.”
Similarly, Republican support from Southern men is presumed. The race has moved elsewhere.
Democrats are no different. They need to reach across from the other side of the chasm in order to re-elect President Barack Obama.

Consider some of the speakers scheduled to appear this week: former President Bill Clinton, Georgetown law school graduate Sandra Fluke, Carolyn Kennedy, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts candidate for U.S. Senate. An abundance of white faces will speak for a party whose base is largely African-American.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis will address the convention, but Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who has become a semi-regular surrogate for Obama on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” currently has no televised speaking role in Charlotte.

The 2012 presidential contest isn’t about who is already in your corner. It’s about who isn’t.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

157 comments Add your comment

Tom

September 1st, 2012
11:05 am

Can Fluke stop looking up at the ceiling long enough to deliver a speech?

Tom

September 1st, 2012
11:07 am

Hey, Elizabeth Warren……after you speak next week, the GOP will still be the only convention this season to have had an actual INDIAN on stage.

Faaarrr Right

September 1st, 2012
11:53 am

Personally, I can hardly wait until the final night of the Democratic National Convention when He steps forth from the background, bathed in iridescent lighting, with a pink/purple hue; slowly walking to the podium…checking His Tele-Palm-Ter and taking a sip straight from the waters of the Sea of Galilee. The crowd is hushed; you can hear a pin drop. He delivers his usual eloquent (but hollow) oratory. Every other word…the crowd roars! The crescendo is deafening! He drivels, uh, talks on, and on, and on about His accomplishments (no failures, just accomplishments).
It’s difficult..no, almost impossible to hear Him over the roar of the collected. After 45 minutes or more He finally wraps it up. The crowd is weeping with joy! He has Aris..NO, He has done it! He has – in one singular speech – outdone the likes of every, that’s right EVERY speaker who spoke at the Republican Convention in Tampa. All of the lapdog media outlets can’t wait to get on air and proclaim that this sermon (well…) was the “greatest ever given! To which the Republicans countered (meekly) that it may have been eclipsed only by another fellow that lived between 1 and 33AD. You be the judge.

jgalloway

September 1st, 2012
11:56 am

Keep on topic, Will.

newt schmoot

September 1st, 2012
12:04 pm

Good observations, Jim. But why does nobody in the media ever address that other barking dog – Southern white females? Is that demographic too all-over-the-place politically?

cc

September 1st, 2012
12:26 pm

Jim,

I am so looking forward to your coverage of the DNC. It will be fun to watch it and then read your ‘inside’ comments on it.

cc

September 1st, 2012
12:29 pm

Faaarrr Right @ 11:53 am:

An accurate prediction . . .

Bob Loblaw

September 1st, 2012
12:30 pm

Here that Christians? Ralph Reed? He doesn’t need you. So ask yourself why he keeps sending you information about how to vote for.

20/20

September 1st, 2012
12:41 pm

Bob Loblaw @ 12.30p; “Here that Christians?”

Here (adverb) indicates something “in this place; in this spot or locality ( opposed to there): Put the pen here.

Hear (verb) is to to perceive by the ear: Didn’t you hear the doorbell? Or, to learn by the ear or by being told; be informed of: to hear news.

I assume you meant “Hear.” Just a little help for the liberals that can spew but not write intelligently. Who is Ralph Reed? The one that’s so 20th. Century? Oh, I (mistakenly) got a flyer from the DNC that…you guessed it! told me how to vote! I am absolutely shocked!

Bernie

September 1st, 2012
12:43 pm

Jim, The premise of your title makes many want to fall in the Floor rolling in Laughter.
Do you really in the deep caverns of your blessed heart, really think that the readers are that stupid? or are just just trying to play with our heads today? :)

newt schmoot

September 1st, 2012
12:47 pm

Bob, it’s “hear” not “here.” You’re on target re scumbag Reed, who manipulates Christians in order to line his pockets every election year. He’s bound to have a special spot in hell for the hereafter.

But on another note, I missed the thread about Clint Eastwood’s monologue at Tampa – he was LOL witty, very intelligent take on the current situation, and flat out brilliant. The people who are denigrating him are showing what shallow thinkers they are.

Dirty Harry brought a fresh touch to what’s usually much too predictable convention formats, and I’ll bet Joe Six-Pack (and Jolene) voters loved it! He got the delegates laughing and in a great mood, set the stage for Romney to deliver a stem-winder acceptance speech. Memorable is always the goal, and memorable is what they got.

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
12:57 pm

@faaar right

Obama is better than jesus because OBAMA is real and jesus is a myth

Bernie

September 1st, 2012
1:02 pm

White males are never invisible and cry as they may always and pretending to be a VICTIM. when it is ALL of the rest of Us including white women, who are the REAL VICTIMS of all of your Brothers DASTARDLY and DIABOLICAL plans. Which has of late have been ALL going to yours and their favor, through vicious and hateful passed enacted Legislation since 2010 on ALL excluding the White MALE.

Mayor Reed has no Right nor does anyone care about his NON invitation to speak after the stunt he pulled earlier in that arrangement on T-splost and siding with Gov.Deal. Its a decision that is rightly made, in light of his BOOT LICKING on the T-SPLOST and then to be quiet as a CHURCH MOUSE as Gov. Deal, throws Mayor Reed and the entire State of Georgia and its citizens under the BUS on the OUTRAGEOUS DENIAL of the Medicaid Expansion set and approved under the HealthCARE Afforable Act this week.

Mayor Reed will spend more than any other elected Mayor in Atlanta’s history in an SAD attempt to be re-elected for a SECOND TERM. This will all occur under the watchful eyes of a very apprehensive and wary citizenry.
Stick a FORK in HIM he is DONE!

If President Obama is smart, He too will put a lot of distance in between Mayor Reed as well. The Man is DAMAGED GOODS politically! He can go Back to his Big Business and financially connected friends and the Cronies down at the DOME from now on. He would better serve Atlanta by going ahead and resigning EARLY!

The sentiment among the citizens of this GREAT CITY is just that BAD! A severe loss of CONFIDENCE to LEAD.

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:10 pm

the southern white male loves college football football, which is dominateed by black males..ironic isnt it…THE SOUTH GONNA RISE AGAIN…with black athletes leading the way….lol…

cc

September 1st, 2012
1:12 pm

Bernie @ 1:02 pm:

You’re so funny!

Lee

September 1st, 2012
1:23 pm

these conventions are stages and a waste of time why anyone would find importance to either one
and the media? wasted wonder why people are turning away from Network news? If asigned to convention coverage must go why me god

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:26 pm

Condileeza Rice looked like a fool trying to lecture the president on foreign policy…she was part of the most inept administration in history who couldnt protect AMERICA…after OSAMA made BUSH look like a total idiot in front of the world they tried to save face by lying about WMD’S in IRAQ. Thousands of Iraquis died as a result of the american christian terrorists invading their country for no reason…and thousands of american soldiers are dead and crippled because of their lies. The world laughed at CONDI and BUSH administration because they didnt know their a@@hole from their elbow. Now go back and sit down CONDI you’ve been used by white christian racists who dont like blacks or gays, which we know youre both.

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:29 pm

they trot out CLINT EASTWOOD…a phony tough guy…but then again MITTENS THE MESSIAH is a phony tough guy himself who was riding a bike in FRANCE spreading mormon bs instead of fighting for his country

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:35 pm

why would any woman with a shred of intelligence cede her reproductive rights to the government?

wendy

September 1st, 2012
1:35 pm

metrosexual men will be the end of mankind.

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:36 pm

why would gays vote for the gop when the gop says gays have no right to marry? when a party dehuumanizes you why vote for them?

cc

September 1st, 2012
1:40 pm

liberalefty @ 1:26 pm, 1:29 pm and 1:35 pm:

You’re a funny guy, too!

Bernie

September 1st, 2012
1:41 pm

Speaking of another Reed named Ralph is another ONE that needs a total and complete disregard from all of the citizens of Georgia. A disgraced political appointee wannabe, who is only interested in his own hateful and personal advance politically and the financially connected. Never the citizens and yet you, JIM and the AJC continues to throw this bag of meat with EYES before us. We are ALL wondering just when YOU and the AJC, are going to wake up and smell the COFFEE? of a seed like Ralph Reed. He is not looking out for any of the REAL interest of Georgia and its citizens. as stated, Ralph is for what Ralph, can get on behalf of Ralph and no else.

back to that all elusive and Invisible WHITE MALE. The issues, concerns and worries that are facing the American White Male is ONE of of his OWN making. By stomping on ALL of the entire population of America because of his much sensitive and bruised EGO by America electing a Black President. Through that Invisible White Male anger, we all have been the VICTIMS of his imperial wrath since he election of President OBAMA.

The restricting of Women”s Healthcare rights and the choices that must make about their OWN BODIES, that have already been fought and WON years ago. The Women of America now find themselves now even dealing with the definition of the CRIMINAL ACT…RAPE!

is it Forcible RAPE? or just plain ole RAPE? Then to have THE WRITER of such a turn in definition on the Presidential TICKET as the Vice Presidentical Candidate.
A Heartbeat from being President!

We must also remember the mean and nasty Talk and threatened, as well as archaic enacted laws, specifically aimed and the Hispanic and Latino population of America as well as the Immigrant relatives and family members.

Do you also need a reminder of the hateful talk and decisions on the LBGT community that has been waged now for years?

We also can not forget or FORGIVE ALL of the SLIMING of President OBAMA as well! TRULY disgusting and OFFENSIVE from Day ONE of his Administration. Not only is it DISRESPECTFUL to the President, but to the Office of THE President of The UNITED STATES as well. HOW DARE YOU! Even just this week with that OLD FART CLINT EASTWOOD! using foul language in reference to OUR COMMANDER in CHIEF in front of the ENTIRE NATION….without even a word of REGRET or Apology for such offensive and LOW RENT behavior?

This so called Invisible WHITE MALE is also responsible for the CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER of the rollback of the VOTING RIGHTS of all things!
Jim, many want to know, Do you guys NOT have even an OUNCE of INTEGRITY or SCRUPLES about fairness and HONESTY at ALL? We really want to know? TRULY!

Come ON, no One is FOOLED At ALL here. Except maybe for you and the Invisible WHITE MALE. America must complete its JOB and if a BEAT DOWN of the Invisible White Male is required for you guys to stop the Hate in November. Then SO Be IT! You have deserved THAT and MORE!

Trust me….We ALL are quite disappointed and upset with YOUR BEHAVIOR TOO!

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:42 pm

why would blacks vote for a party whose main platform is birtherism aka racist pandering to appease their vile christian base? the repubs arent about less spending because BUSH doubled the deficit and turned a surplus into a deficit.. the repubs arent strong on defense remember 9/11?the repubs dont care aboutr the poor because theyre trying to gut the ACA …the repubs are trying to stop blacks from voting by enacting JIM CROW style voting laws…

Bernie

September 1st, 2012
1:42 pm

cc @ 1:12 pm – I am NOT LAUGHING….and neither is America!

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:43 pm

cc

September 1st, 2012
1:43 pm

wendy @ 1:35 pm:

“metrosexual”?

Does that mean they engage in sex with a city? How kinky is that?

Ashley

September 1st, 2012
1:45 pm

Like most Americans, maybe the southern white male was busy trying to find a job or provide for his family, most people don’t need a convention to convince them who to vote for. We have been hearing the same dribble from both sides for so long rehashing it at a 4-day convention won’t change much, besides when it’s being broadcast at 10 p.m. and then is the lead in to 11 o’clock news and once again in the morning, who really needs to lose sleep. Conventions are just a place for the political engine to give themselves a pat on the back and a kiss to the ass, being phony rules the night.

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:46 pm

the hate direc ted at the president is all because of his color…we know a lot of white men fear black men and that fear is manifested in the hate of thre confident president…but guess what, these same white males love jock sniffing black athletes on their college football teams

cc

September 1st, 2012
1:47 pm

Bernie @ 1:41 pm:

That’s a riot! I laughed so hard I was almost crying! You are definitely a talented and funny writer!

cc

September 1st, 2012
1:50 pm

liberalefty @ 1:46 pm:

Another good one! Between you and Bernie, I can hardly catch my breath for laughing! Great stuff!

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:52 pm

jock sniffing southern white males will be cheering on their predominately black football teams today all across the south…lol..yet they say the black president isnt tough enough for them..lol

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:54 pm

cc

heres somethjing else amusing, OSAMA made a fool of BUSH and OBAMA made a fool out of OSAMA…now that should really make you laugh…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:55 pm

cc

WHY would a woman cede their reproductive rights to the government

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
1:57 pm

cc

heres something else funny; the SCOTUS declared ACA legal…HAWHAW HAW HAW HAW HAW…lol

cc

September 1st, 2012
2:03 pm

liberalefty:

You’re a scream! Keep ‘em coming!

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
2:06 pm

cc

answer the question. why would a woman cede her reproductive rights to the government?

gm

September 1st, 2012
2:11 pm

The white convention looked like a bunch of old white men trying to reinvente the 50″s.
what is sad people around the world have been asking why would Americans bash the President of the United States for trying to assist other Americans.

Simple answer, these people dont care about Americans, Mitt Romney company bain has laid off more workers who are receiving these benefits, yet the hypocrite on the right turn their head and give him a pass, why are these people different from other terriost groups, they are our inside terrorist.

5 days of bashing the President never one mention of our men and women serving in afghanistan, the war that has cost billions started by GW Bush, please angry white males watch the Dem convention and watch what America looks like”””’

cc

September 1st, 2012
2:11 pm

liberalefty @ 2:06 pm:

No way will I answer! I know I can’t be as funny as you and Bernie! I’m not even close to being in the same league!

cc

September 1st, 2012
2:15 pm

gm:

This must be All-Star Day! Bernie and liberaleft are just cracking me up and I thought it couldn’t get any funnier! Now, here you are!

gm

September 1st, 2012
2:17 pm

cc

The truth will do that to you”””””’

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

@cc

ok birther

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
2:23 pm

gm

the klan rally did have a black gay woman speaking on foreign policy,but it didnt work out to well for AMERICA..9/11…2 wars etc..

A message being sent to the invisible Southern white male (you are to extreme)

September 1st, 2012
2:24 pm

“The 2012 presidential contest isn’t about who is already in your corner. It’s about who isn’t.”

*************************************************************************

If people are not on board by now, they were never going to be.

.

A message being sent to the invisible Southern white male (you are to extreme)

September 1st, 2012
2:29 pm

@Faaarrr Right

September 1st, 2012
11:53 am
Personally, I can hardly wait until the final night of the Democratic National Convention when He steps forth from the background, bathed in iridescent lighting, with a pink/purple hue; slowly walking to the podium…checking His Tele-Palm-Ter and taking a sip straight from the waters of the Sea of Galilee. The crowd is hushed; you can hear a pin drop. He delivers his usual eloquent (but hollow) oratory. Every other word…the crowd roars! The crescendo is deafening! He drivels, uh, talks on, and on, and on about His accomplishments (no failures, just accomplishments).
It’s difficult..no, almost impossible to hear Him over the roar of the collected. After 45 minutes or more He finally wraps it up. The crowd is weeping with joy! He has Aris..NO, He has done it! He has – in one singular speech – outdone the likes of every, that’s right EVERY speaker who spoke at the Republican Convention in Tampa. All of the lapdog media outlets can’t wait to get on air and proclaim that this sermon (well…) was the “greatest ever given! To which the Republicans countered (meekly) that it may have been eclipsed only by another fellow that lived between 1 and 33AD. You be the judge.

************************************************************************************

“The 2012 presidential contest isn’t about who is already in your corner. It’s about who isn’t.”

The 2012 presidential contest IS about who is already in our corner.

Not who isn’t like Faaarrr Right.

And we aint mad about it.

cc

September 1st, 2012
2:44 pm

“And we aint mad about it”

How could anybody be mad about anything after reading all these hilarious posts by liberalefty, Bernie and gm? If you have a sense of humor at all. you just have to be laughing too hard to be mad!

liberalefty

September 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

cc

i heard that CLINT had to get his diaper changed after his speech…now that toooooo funny

20/20

September 1st, 2012
2:56 pm

CC: Please don’t say anything else to liberalefty and Bernie! Every time you do they come back with quips that are now making me cry I’m laughing so hard. Please! These two living (?) vacuums are indeed riots! It’s taking me almost three minutes to write this – I have to keep wiping off my keyboard and taking deep breaths to keep from passing out from laughing!

liberaleftie: Your comments about jesus not being real vis-a-vis The Anointed One may be (and definitely is) well received by the leftist socialists on this blog but to mainstream America you would are a pitiful fool. Politics are great for debate; religion are deeply-held personal beliefs that only fools will give into pernicious attacks upon. You are, indeed, a vile and disgusting person.

rlm

September 1st, 2012
3:02 pm

I suppose the Republican party trying to be inclusive was a bad thing according to you. Afterall the candidate and the vp candidated are white males. You say they have to be Southern? This is really stretching it to complain.

newt schmoot

September 1st, 2012
3:12 pm

Has anybody here seen the new documentary about Obama’s life “2016″ in local theaters? A blurb in the AJC this morning said it is #7 at the box office nationwide – the highest any documentary has ever ranked. Sounds like a lot of Americans are trying to find out more about the President, don’t really know his life story. I’d be curious to know what your thoughts are, if you’ve seen it.