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Defending John Kerry

Now this doesn't happen very often, but since I'm on my lunch hour, I'll note this. Colbert King of the Washington Post questions John Kerry's commitment to racial diversity. Mainly he's alleging that Kerry's 'inner circle' is completely white, with people of color, alternative sexualities, gender, etc. brought in only to talk to their particular communities:

Regardless of how much the Kerry press releases make it sound as if those "all-stars" and "senior advisers" are the Dream Team, they aren't the people calling the shots. They don't have a hand in positioning the candidate or in guiding his campaign. That is the special preserve of the [allegedly all-white] inner circle.

As most of you probably guess, the color of John Kerry's 'inner circle' is a matter of supreme indifference to me. Still, the charge seemed strange, so I though I'd take a quick look to see if I could find some data, without doing what Colbert King did: calling spin-central and seeing what popped up. I mean, at the very least, it would be cool to find out what Kerry blogmeister Dick Bell looks like.

In so doing, I found the Civic Actions Wiki, a sort of roster for Democratic campaign staff. The data on the Kerry campaign is here. There's no 'inner circle' listing, but I went to what I cared about--who runs the website. And at least here there's diversity: one, possibly two hispanic men, a woman, and white guy. A quick glance through shows that the Deputy Campaign Manager, Marcus Jadotte, is an African-American. Not that the racial mix matters, but since they do run a good blog [1] (even if I'm not a Kerry fan), it's nice to see them front and center.

I'm not sure if that answers Colbert King's question: maybe these people are functionaries and the 'Inner Circle' that's 'calling the shots' is indeed all-white. But looking through his campaign staff and reading a bit about them is a fun experience in and of itself, so it's not been a wasted lunch.

[1]: Having looked at the Bush and Kerry blogs and websites over the last few months, I regretfully give the edge to the Kerry site. The Bush site is slightly better technically, but the Kerry site's lighter, more open site design is less of a trial to look at. Bush's site could really use an overhaul: there's too much stuff on the homepage, and it's just too confusing.

That said, both sites need some stylesheet help. Senior browsers are a key audience, and neither site's fonts increase when you use IE's "Text Size" feature. For older Americans, this has to be annoying.


No matter how silly the charge seems on it's face, I have to wallow in a bit of schadenfrude here. It's the entrenched PC standards that the Democratic party has done so much to foster coming back to bite them in the ass. It really galls those I've talked to who are left of center that Bush has more high level minorities (Hi Condi and Collin!) than any previous administration. Hence all the thinly veiled "house ni----" swipes at them I've heard. Were the shoe on the other foot here, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the come-back to your finding that there are 2 hispanic men and a woman running the website would be along the lines of "but those are just technical positions, they aren't in any position of authorrrriiiittyyyyy!!!!"
Worth noting that Rice2008.com is not only take (as is Clinton2008.com), but is an actual, active website by folks who want to see her run four years from now. To be fair, I doubt that the Kerry campaign would use their website staff as poster-children for their campaign diversity at an executive level. On the other hand, I'm pretty interested in the campaign web-staff administration for professional reasons. The rest of the campaign staff seemed to have a reasonable number of minorities, women, etc., though.

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