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When coattails become halter tops

Lucius Gantt

Lucius Gantt

The Gantt Report

When coattails become halter tops

By Lucius Gantt

There are more than a few elected officials that slid into public office on the coattails of President Barack Obama.

The extraordinarily high turnout of Black voters that voted for the President in his first and second elections benefited almost every Black or Democratic candidate that ran in a predominately Black city or political district.

Now, if recent elections are any indication, the President’s coattails have become more like a halter top!

White candidates started this transformation a couple of years ago when some members of the President’s own Party treated the President like he had political Ebola!

They didn’t want President Obama to appear with them, they didn’t want the President to speak for them and they distanced themselves as far from President Barack Obama as they possibly could.

However, what they could take from President Obama in “secret”, they took!

They asked for financial help from the Democratic National Committee, which President Obama controls, at least figuratively. They asked for social media assistance to try to mimic the President’s mastery of social media campaign tactics and they got it.

And, they asked for and got the names and contact information of every Black voter that contributed money or clicked on an internet link to support the President.

With everything candidates got from President Obama, so-called liberals and moderates seeking elected office were advised by high paid political consultants to be as conservative as possible because Black voters, Hispanic voters and women voters would vote for non-Republicans regardless of what their platform or proposed political programs were.

In other words, the candidates that the President helped were told to be more Republican than their Republican opponents!

Well, with no Black presidential candidate on any ballots, voter turnouts returned to dismal percentages.

Republican consultants know very well that if Black voter turnout is subdued, discouraged or politically prevented, no Democrat could win a rat race or a political contest!

The candidates that represent urban and other areas with significant numbers of registered Black voters are losing elections these days like bad sports teams lose playoff games!

The Black candidates, the mayors, the legislators and other public officials imitate their white political party brethren. They raise money from Black contributors but they don’t hire Black consultants. They beg for Black media endorsements and news stories but they refuse to buy meaningful or numerous ads in Black newspapers, on Black radio or on Black internet sites.

Candidates visit Black churches and flood the windshields of Black automobiles with campaign propaganda but they decline to hire Blacks on their campaign staffs.

When the President Obama coattail candidates lose, they don’t blame the political party, they don’t blame their high paid consultants and they never blame themselves.

They say they lost because “Blacks didn’t turn out to vote”!

Don’t take my word for it, check the records that your election supervisor has, but every campaign will employ white campaign staffers, every campaign will hire some type of white consultant, they will hire white printers, they will hire white caterers, they will hire white pollsters, they will hire white firms to do robo-calling and direct mail and they will tell you that you have no choice but to vote for them because they love President Obama, they love the local Black college and they loved Martin Luther King Junior!

Yes, the coattails have become halter tops.

The reason many Blacks are not enthusiastic about upcoming elections is Black voters are tired of being punked, misled, bamboozled, and taken for granted!

Democratic candidates can be as conservative as they want to be but if they don’t utilize state and national Democratic Black organizations, if they don’t hire Black political professionals and if they don’t respect Black registered voters, many Democratic candidates for national, state and local offices will lose.

Don’t believe me? Just ask the former Mayor of the predominately Black city of Jacksonville what happened in his reelection bid! (Buy Gantt’s books and contact Lucius at

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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