diversity problem. Of the 25 confirmed speakers scheduled to take the big stage, 22 are men. What’s more, 19 are white.Even before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) got underway yesterday, it appeared the right had a
But the underlying issue looked even worse after the event got underway. Brookings’ John Hudak published a fascinating report.
Thursday afternoon, CPAC hosted a panel on GOP outreach into minority communities. The panel included Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and a panel of Republican political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson. The panel delivered a remarkably pointed review of GOP voter outreach (largely its failures) and explained, in very straightforward terms, how the party can (and must) do better.However, the most revealing part of the experience was not what happened on stage, but what happened off stage, and reflects the national electoral struggles Republicans are facing.
He tweeted a photograph of a nearly-empty ballroom, filled with empty chairs. I initially thought Hudak had snapped the picture before the session had begun in earnest, but the shot actually captured the attendance 10 minutes into the discussion.
In other words, CPAC organized a panel on minority outreach – an ongoing problem for the Republican Party and its base – and few thought the subject was worth their time.
Hudak added, “If the attendance pictured above reflects the party’s future approach to diversity outreach, it is probably safe to say that for some the given future, the White House will be a solid hue of deep blue.”
In her report, Elahe Izadi added:
Some of the marquee speakers at CPAC did tout policy, such as bolstering charter schools, that could garner support from some nonwhite voters. But compared with last year’s CPAC, where a major focus was wooing Latino voters, delving into the main themes of the postelection GOP autopsy report seems to have lost steam. No mention of immigration reform came from major speakers Thursday, with just one panel dedicated to the topic of citizenship.The first speaker to really talk about immigration was Donald Trump. “We’re either a country or we’re not,” he said, when advocating for a strong border. The audience burst into applause.
This is no way for a movement or a party to deal with a demographic problem that’s only going to get worse for the right.