National Journal | Obama’s Democrat bench is very weak

Nearly two years ago, then-Rep. Artur Davis, still a Democrat in good standing, was lamenting the future of his now-former party. In an interview I had with him back then, he expressed concern that Democrats talk the talk when it comes to diversity, but the party is surprisingly thin when it comes to recruiting and electing viable minority statewide candidates. The comments came in the wake of his disappointing primary loss for Alabama governor, and then-Rep. Kendrick Meek’s third-place finish in the Florida Senate race, where Meek got little support from party leaders.
Initially, I thought he was overstating things. After all, an overwhelming number of minority voters back Democratic candidates. But look at the Democrats’ list of convention speakers, and the lack of a deep, diverse bench is painfully evident. The party is highlighting the stars of yesteryear–former President Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, and defeated Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Among the party’s Senate recruits, the only minority candidate is Richard Carmona of Arizona, who faces a steep challenge in a solidly Republican state.


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