Thursday, April 15, 2004

Bush's Inner Circle Lacks Diversity

That's not the headline, but if we were to compare apples to apples, it would be:

Unlike Al Gore whose campaign manager, political director and finance director were African-American, the Kerry campaign, as of yet, has no one of color in the innermost circle, including Kerry's campaign manager, campaign chairperson, media adviser, policy director, foreign policy adviser, general election manager, convention planner, national finance chairman, and head of VP search team.

Of course, Bush's campaign manager, campaign chair, media advisor, convention planner, national finance chair, and former head of his vice-presidential search team are all white men. Not sure about the rest, as I couldn't find their names and photos, but I'm guessing they're white men, too.

Meanwhile, Kerry's campaign is run by women:

Yet as Kerry made history with one of the most stunning political turnarounds in presidential politics, another historical first passed with little note. Not only was the Kerry campaign the only one of the eight Democratic teams with a male candidate to have a female campaign manager, he is now also the first major-party nominee in presidential history to have a female campaign manager, press secretary, policy director, and campaign chair. "You really know the glass ceiling has been shattered when John Kerry replaces his press secretary and campaign manager in the same day and appoints two women and nobody says anything," says Ann Lewis, national chair of the Democratic National Committee's Women's Vote Center (and Barney Frank's sister).
Besides [Mary Beth] Cahill and [Stephanie] Cutter, there is former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen, the chair of Kerry's campaign since September 23 and a candidate Cahill backed while at Emily's List. Kerry's policy director, Sarah Bianchi, 31, is a five-year veteran of the Clinton White House, where she worked for Bruce Reed on the Domestic Policy Council and later served as the Gore campaign's deputy director for policy. She then spent the next three years working for the Democratic Leadership Council, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and - of course - with Kennedy as a Senate staffer.

And after the incindiary opening, the author does admit that Kerry has nonwhite advisors:

[I]nfluential members of Congress including Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tennessee, Greg Meeks, D-New York, and Rep. Juanita Millender-MacDonald, D-California, and also former Cabinet Secretary Henry Cisneros are key advisers and people of color. One Kerry deputy campaign manager, [Marcus] Jadotte, is also African-American.

Apparently, they don't count.