The Grio — With a primary victory in Texas, what has been true for more than a month is now official: Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee for president of the United States in the 2012 election. Romney staved off rather mediocre opposition, including a disgraced former Speaker of the House and the CEO of a pizza chain that clearly has never owned a map, but what matters is that he is now the GOP’s nominee and will take on incumbent President Barack Obama in the general election. As is true with any candidate, Romney is now tasked with trying to win over voters by presenting his plan for the future of this country. The problem for Romney is that his campaign appears to be stuck in the past.
Take, for example, his two-and-a-half minute campaign video entitled “The Promise of America.” The schmaltzy clip is the opening salvo for his general election strategy and is intended to capture the “true spirit” of America, its people, and inspire the belief that Romney has their best interests at heart. Romney will fight for the American people and the American way of life. There’s one big problem: there aren’t any people of color in this video.
It’s inter-cut with speeches Romney has made across the country during the primary campaign, and there isn’t much he can do about who has or hasn’t shown up to his rallies. But in the staged moments, the Romney campaign didn’t think to add any black, Latino, Asian, or Native Americans into their vision of the fabric of America. They got young, old, men, and women, but neglected to include anyone of a darker hue. This is problematic on a few levels.
No one expects that Romney will win any significant portion of the black vote, but one thing every candidate knows in multicultural America is that during general election time you must appear to pander to every demographic, in order to attract those white swing voters who do care about the idea of America as melting pot. It’s why Romney visited a predominantly black school in West Philadelphia last week. He wasn’t trying to win black votes, but to appear compassionate to white voters. This video undoes some of that work.