Republican National Convention 2012
Aug 31, 2012 | News Archive
Republican National Convention 2012

Thompson Mediaman Communicatons' Vincent Thompson joined the 5,000 delegates and the 15,000 members of the media at the 40th Republican National Convention in Tampa.


Here’s his takeaways from the Convention:


#1) Fewer and fewer African-Americans are still a part of the Grand Old Party (GOP);


Time Magazine’s Swampland website reports that just 46 African-American delegates were at this year’s convention, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The number of African-American delegates was at its highest at 167 in 2004, 16.7 percent of the overall total.


In the delegations representing the Delaware Valley (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware), New Jersey had the largest number of African-American and minority delegates with five. N.J. GOP Party spokesman Douglass Mayer said they are voting delegates Aubrey Fenton, Mt. Laurel; Keith Walker, Camden; Ronald Perry, Rahway; Harold Edwards Sr,, Newark; and alternate delegate Evern Ford, Woodstown.

Pa. GOP photo:  The Pennsylvania delegation had four minorites are part of the delegation, all from the Philadelphia area.
(from left to right). Here are Philadelphia delegate Calvin Tucker, City Councilman David Oh and delegate Lewis Harris, Jr.

Pennsylvania’s delegation has two African-Americans and one Asian as part of the delegation. Philadelphians Lewis Harris, chairman of the Philadelphia Republicans of Color, and Calvin Tucker, Republican 22nd Ward leader, were elected delegates and had a vote on the floor.


Long-time Pennsylvania Republican Renee Amoore attended the convention in her role as party vice chairwoman. City Councilman David Oh attended as a non-voting alternative delegate appointed by Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Rob Gleason.


Delaware GOP Chairman John Sigler said grassroots activist Mark Parks of Bear, Del. is the lone African-American in his delegation. Parks is an alternate delegate. Delaware had 17 voting delegates and 14 alternate delegates.


I spoke with Dr. Jason Johnson, an African-American professor of political science and communications at Hiram College in Ohio. Johnson, who also is a contributing writer for the Politics365 website, attended this year’s GOP convention and said Romney and Ryan’s speeches played well to the GOP party faithful, but he’s not sure if it swayed independents and African-Americans enough to swing the election for Romney.

“I don’t think Mitt Romney is going to do any better with Black people than [Arizona U.S. Sen.] John McCain [in the 2008 general election],” Johnson said. “He [Romney] may go up another percentage point, but he will not break five [percent of the nationwide African-American vote] and that is what he is looking at. He is looking at a situation where he would need to depress turnout for Obama, keep his turnout high, and keep a lot of people from registering to vote if Romney actually has a chance to win the election. Those are three clearly complicated things. They can be accomplished — but they would sort of require a perfect storm for Mitt Romney.”

Republican Party of Pa. Vice Chairwoman Renee Amoore standing in the lobby of the Pa. delegation hotel with Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett.


The Republican National Convention Press Office told me that the party does not breakdown delegates by race, so they are not able to provide racial breakdown numbers. This year, 2,286 voting delegates and 2,125 alternative delegates attended the Convention.


The GOP is focusing its energies in getting votes in the Nov. 6 general election from the nation’s growing Latino community. Latinos had many major speaking roles and the Romney campaign has produced a slick video targeting Latinos—not African Americans.


Check out the video  below




#2) Peanuts and the CNN camerawoman :


Journalists are taught to never be a part of the story they are covering and to avoid doing so at all costs. At this year’s Republican National Convention, an African-American, female CNN cameraperson became a story through no fault of her own.


The camerawoman, identified as 34-year-old Patricia Carroll in Richard Prince’s online column “Journalism-ism,” had peanuts thrown at her on the first day of the convention by two men attending the convention. Security quickly escorted the men out of the Tampa Bay Times Forum after the incident.


“I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all,” Carroll is quoted as saying. “This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue.”


In an interview with me from Washington, D.C., the cameraperson’s friend, radio journalist Jamila Bey, said two “older-than-middle-aged white men” threw the peanuts at the cameraperson and said, “Here, want more peanuts? This is what we feed the animals in the zoo.”


Bey said the camerawoman responded to the men, “What are you doing? Are you out of your god dammed mind?”


According to Bey, Carroll told her she was on the convention floor getting ready to set up equipment when peanuts started being thrown at her from close by.


During a media conference call this week , Mitt Romney adviser Russ Schriefer said in response to my question, “We find it absolutely deplorable and we condemn it in the highest possible way. That behavior is just reprehensible. We could not be more clear on that.”


This is what surprised me the most. Neither Schriefer or Republican National Convention Press Secretary Kyle Downey never answered my questions or e-mail about  whether the two men were actual delegates to the convention or if they were guests — or if they were barred from attending the final two days of the convention as a result of the incident.  I’ve been told the two men were alternative delegates meaning they came from one of the states attending the event


Everyone who entered the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena could only do so with a pre-approved, valid credential. Each credential has a special hologram on it to prevent any possible counterfeiting or photocopying.


“The RNC fell down,” Bey told me. “They were not compassionate. They were not able to just say we offer an apology. They were not able to do that … I think a lot of folks are very distributed and upset. I’m not speaking for her, but I’m speaking for a lot of other people at the convention.”




#3) Actor Clint Eastwood taking to the empty chair In what may go down as one of the most bizarre speeches in political convention history, actor Clint Eastwood spoke to the delegates and used an empty wooden chair as a prop to pretend he was speaking to Pres. Obama.  This moment appeared to be unscripted and it showed.  The whole thing didn’t make any sense and was so bizarre, it remains the talk of the convention as delegates.


Watch the speech for yourself here:





#4) Remember the name Mia Love.


Ludmya "Mia" Bourdeau Love is the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and the 2012 Republican Party nominee for the United States House of Representatives in Utah's 4th congressional district. She will face Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson for the seat in the November 6, 2012, election.


If she wins, she would be the first ever African-American female GOP congresswoman in history. She is already the first Black female mayor in Utah history.


She was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1975 and raised in Connecticut.  Both of her parents immigrated from Haiti in 1973. In 1997 she moved to Utah and married Jason Love, whom she met when he was an LDS missionary in Connecticut. Love joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon VChurch) just before their marriage. They have three children.


She is a rising star and that is why she had the chance to speak to the delegates at the convention. Here is a GOP produced video on her:


Vincent will be in Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention from Sept. 3-6. Listen to his reports right here on WURD 900 AM.


Posted By: Vincent Thompson