In the case of this year’s elections let alone the Democratic race between frontrunners Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the issue of race has emerged from the water. So far, the Democrats have managed to go beyond the barriers of race and gender. Clinton is the first viable female candidate while Obama is the first viable African-American candidate. Interestingly enough, the two of them have ended up as frontrunners for the Democratic Party.
So far, it looks as if Obama seems close enough to clinch the Democratic nomination. In the case of the GOP, it looks as if they have approached only a few possible minority candidates to represent them. So far, it has been six years passed since the GOP has had minority representation in the government. So far there have been no African-Americans representing the Republican Party in the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, or the state governorships. There is a sheer sense of irony as the RNC said it would focus on reaching out to minorities.
Recently, Obama has been reaching out to various minority voting blocs. So far, Obama was adopted as an honorary member of the Crow tribe in Montana. He had taken up the name of Obama Black Eagle. This shows the efforts of the Democratic Party reaching out to various minorities.
But, there is some minority representation within the GOP. Bobby Jindal, the current governor of Louisiana is Indian. Jindal is the country’s first let alone Louisiana’s first Indian-American governor. If Jindal plays his cards right, he could end up as the nation’s first Indian-American president. However, Jindal is the only minority governor in the Republican Party. This is a very symbolic and historical event in the history of the GOP.
The Democrats have three minority governors and forty-three minority members of Congress. One notable member is Obama, who could possibly grip the Democratic Party’s nomination. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a former Democratic hopeful and he is half-Latino.
One could ask: Why do the Democrats have more minorities in Congress and other forms of government and the Republicans do not? One former Republican congressman answers that the efforts by the GOP to recruit more minorities in its ranks has been very “substandard” to say at least. In short, the outreach on behalf of the GOP has been poor.
An African-American member of the Republican Party also explains that the state of the party is broken.
But, many within the GOP have said that the party itself is not trying hard enough to recruit more minorities within the ranks. According to former Oklahoma Representative J.C. Watts, an infrastructure for the party has to come first before recruiting minorities. He adds that it takes time and much thought to build the infrastructure. But, he said that it seems little to none are looking to take the initiative to build the structure for the GOP to recruit minorities.
What these members of the GOP have explained could possibly be a wakeup call for the party if it wishes to recruit more minorities into its ranks.