Expanding Outreach To Blacks
By MELANIE EVERSLEY / Cox
PHILADELPHIA -- There was a time when such a scene would have
The emcee for the luncheon laid manicured hands atop the podium
and prodded the audience to applaud for the man they all knew from
the big screen's "Shaft," the black-oriented action movie from the
As the mostly white, well-heeled crowd put their hands together
in the Grand Ballroom of the Philadelphia Marriott -- as if they
really had seen "Shaft" -- Richard Roundtree jogged onstage.
The black actor praised the principles of self-help touted by
the Republican Party, to which he belongs. The audience of GOP
"I just feel comfortable being a Republican," Roundtree later
Roundtree might not have felt so comfortable being a Republican
in the days when "Shaft" was popular. He may not have felt
comfortable even just five years ago.
But convention organizers say they are kicking off a new
campaign of inclusion for America's minorities.
"We are a very diverse party that invites people of all
different backgrounds to this convention," said Andy Card,
convention co-chairman. "Gov. Bush has reached out in Texas in
particular to bring people into the party who have not been active