NEW YORK, NY March 26, 2015— Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is quite the Libertarian voice of Washington, and is hard at work enticing voters to consider his platform for the White House.
Last December Paul went to Detroit, MI for the grand opening of the state GOP’s first African-American Engagement Office. Paul also spoke at Howard University a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) to spread his “Republicans actually do care” message.
What President Rand Paul Means to Blacks Voters?
Earlier this year Senator Paul and New Jersey Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) began a dialogue on hoe Drug Reform affects minorities. Is there a catch? Or is Paul sincere in his outreach to black voters?
Well, that depends on what side of the political aisle your on. Whether you like Paul or not, his outreach to black voters is welcomed and positive to undecided voters in some black communities.. Paul’s Detroit visit alone, has been viewed as the Republicans first step in the right direction to address urban poverty in majorly black cities.
As Republicans continue their minority outreach effort—the Growth and Opportunity Project—Paul is taking that platform to minorities that traditionally don’t see eye to eye with Republicans. Paul’s Detroit visit included organizations like the United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO and other labor unions.
Sadly, we don’t see this type of ‘political hustle’ from other Republican contenders.. As America’s demographics change, candidates must change the way they deliver that message as well.
In 2008 President Obama won by a large margin because his message motivated new youth and female voters. To his advantage, Paul’s Libertarian pot-friendly message is polling well with young voters and garnering minority support,.
In 2014, Michigan GOP Communications Director Darren Littell remarked:
“Senator Paul’s visit reflects the GOP’s commitment to keeping cities like Detroit moving forward through free market solutions and is another step in the process of engaging the community, listening, connecting on issues in common, and hopefully earning the trust of the people.”
Rand Paul’s 2016 campaign may have as many million-dollar fundraisers and country club dinners with wealthy Super PAC donors, but his grassroots ground game is gaining momentum.
Few conservatives have campaigned in cities with burned-down buildings, liquor stores on every corner, and a glimpse of what years of corruption and failed Democratic policies look like.
Fortunately, young voters are a growing part of the electorate, and are more political savvy and less loyal to party affiliation, than their parents and grand parents were, thanks to the internet revolution.
While Paul’s minority voter outreach ought to be recognized, its still is far from earning an endorsement. Even though, Senator Paul’s heart is in the right place, it remains to be seen whether or not he can handle a full-on national campaign.
With strong fundraisers like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and now Ted Cruz, Paul needs to make sure his message resonates with minority voters, specifically black women, to make the kind of impact that would put America back on the path to a Conservative recovery.
At times, important initiatives gain unfair criticism, which Paul is no stranger to, and in his attempt to connect with minority voters, he might run into a political band saw. Some critics will see his effort pandering to Blacks and Hispanics. Others will point out that his outreach in genuine and necessary, lauding him as the only candidate talking about the issues with minority voters.
Regardless of the outcome, Senator Paul deserve kudos for finally making the necessary attempts to court urban neighborhoods, bringing national politics back to the local level. It’s time that other Republicans made similar efforts that last beyond an election year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brandon Brice is a Senior Contributor at PolitiWeek He began his political career as an intern on Capitol Hill in the Office of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, while serving as a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Brice moved on to a fellowship in the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs. Other professional positions include his work as an Associate at the National Urban League, Director of Education and African-American Affairs in the Office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Director of Development for the Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia.
Mr. Brice’s media work includes an Opinion Column in The Washington Times, Communities Digital News and other publications. Brice is also a frequent guest on TV programs such as Huff Post LIVE, The Blaze, and more. Brice attended Howard University for a Bachelor’s in Business and earned a Master’s in International Affairs from Rutgers University, Eagleton Institute of Politics as well as additional graduate work at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs for a Master’s in Public Administration.
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