Obama Re-election Campaign Aides: I See White People
At the WashEx, Byron York writes about Richard Wolffe's new book, The Message: The Reselling of President Obama, noting the bit about how black donors forced the nearly all-white Obama campaign to recruit a black person:
In April 2012, the Obama re-election campaign posted a photo of a staff meeting on its Tumblr account. The aides in the picture were young, casually dressed, and enthusiastic -- and nearly all white. The campaign took heat on the Internet for a remarkable lack of diversity, particularly since the staff was working to re-elect the first black president in U.S. history.
Now, a new book filled with inside information from the campaign reports that top Obama aides were also taking heat from key donors and supporters.
...Wolffe writes that influential black supporters were unhappy with the lack of black aides in top campaign roles. The supporters were so unhappy that they forced the campaign to search for African-Americans to fill senior roles in the effort. After months of searching, the campaign found exactly one.
That person was Broderick Johnson, a former lobbyist and personal friend of the president.
The lack of black staffers, both in senior and lower-down roles, proved embarrassing for the campaign, Wolffe writes. For example, with no blacks to supervise ads targeting African-American audiences, the results could be remarkably off-key. When the campaign produced its first black radio ad, one aide recalled to Wolffe, "It was like something out of Soul Train from the 1970s." With funk music behind it, the ad played sound bites from Obama speeches followed by a chorus singing "We've got yo' back!"