A GOP "Snub"?
9:36 AM, Sep 28, 2007 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Last night on PBS, Tavis Smiley hosted a debate on minority issues. The Republican candidates for president were invited, and only six of them showed up: Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and, yes, Alan Keyes, whose current profession seems to be running for offices of which he has absolutely no chance of winning.
Since the four candidates who are most likely to be the GOP nominee did not show up, however--Romney, Thompson, Giuliani, and McCain--conventional wisdom seems to be congealing around the idea that the debate was a horrible poke in the eye of minority voters and consigned the GOP to defeat in 2008. For an example, you can read David Yepsen's take here.
An editorial in the San Diego-Union Tribune makes this point:
Um, maybe this is just me, but isn't this hyperbole? Are minority voters going to decide to vote against the GOP nominee next year because he didn't take questions from Tavis Smiley? Isn't it far more likely that those voters will base their decisions on their own evaluations of the individual candidates' strengths and weaknesses, their own partisan loyalties, and the Republican and Democratic nominees' policy positions?