Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Democrat Fund-Raisers Aim at Hyphenated Americans

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Democrat Fund-Raisers Aim at Hyphenated Americans

Article excerpt

REPUBLICANS' EFFORTS to determine the extent of White House involvement in political fund raising produced a hefty heap of documents late Friday, the administration's preferred day of the week for releasing potentially embarrassing material.

The hundreds of pages may raise some legal questions, but they also provide an interesting glimpse into the strategy conceived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for getting the votes of Americans by appealing to their racial or ethnic heritage.

Early last year, the White House drafted plans to get campaign contributions and votes from five ethnic groups whose support was considered crucial to winning the election: African-Americans, Asian Pacific-Americans, "ethnic" Americans, Jewish Americans and Latino Americans. Targeting our melting pot ingredient by ingredient is nothing new for presidential campaigns, nor is it a strategy confined to Democrats. But the lengths to which the Clinton White House was prepared to go to "keep in touch" with voters based on their ethnic identities is eye-opening. A Jan. 3, 1996, memo from Harold Ickes - Clinton's top political White House aide - set out the parameters of the effort. Each plan targeted certain states to recruit key leaders of the groups and set out those parts of the president's record and message of particular appeal to the targeted groups. Illinois was frequently mentioned; Missouri was not. Ickes said each group should develop a month-by-month schedule for groups to meet with the president, vice president or others at the White House. Other dates specified ethnic events around the country at which Clinton's presence would be politically wise. Some of the calendars that were developed were so chock full of events that Clinton would have had time for little else if he attended them all. Let's take a look at one of the groups: ethnic Americans. In early February, the Democratic National Committee sent letters to leaders of various ethnic groups - Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc. - announcing it had formed an "office of ethnic outreach." Many of the leaders responded favorably. "This is an area that has been somewhat overlooked by the Democratic Party for some years," wrote Bernard J. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.