Racial Diversity in Presidential Campaign Staffs

(See also: Gender Ratios of Presidential Campaign Staffs.)

Via the blog Mercury Rising:

Racial diversity in presidential campaign staff, 2008

Some scattered thoughts:

1) Wish they had covered Dodd, who I am leaning towards favoring at the moment, due to his leadership in regards to FISA. (UPDATE: But having watched this clip, I’m now officially off the Dodd train.)

2) It’s not a surprise that the candidate who is Black has the greatest percentage of Black staffers, and that the candidate who is Latino has the greatest percentage of Latin@ staffers. It’s interesting, however, that Clinton has far and away the most Asian staffers. I have no idea what’s behind that; possibly it’s a secondary effect of a geographic difference?

3) Wow, are American Indians shut out of participation at this level.

4) Once again, Giuliani manages to be worse than other Republicans. (Speaking of Giuliani suckage, read this excellent post about Giuliani’s use of racism in his campaign for mayor.)

5) I’ve generally been anti-Clinton in this race, and I still am; she’s the most pro-war of the Democratic candidates, and that’s a deficit that nothing else overcomes, for me. But she’s the only one who can claim to have a staff that’s mostly people of color.

* * *

Feel free to use this thread for general discussion of the presidential race, as well as discussion of the above graphic.

This entry posted in Elections and politics, Race, racism and related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

29 Responses to Racial Diversity in Presidential Campaign Staffs

  1. 1
    Rachel S. says:

    I think Clinton may be lying. I have a very hard time believing that over half are people of color.

    As for Guiliani, he’s definitely a race baiter, and anybody who lives in NY knows how much he divided NYC. What’s fascinating is that even though he’s a former mayor of NYC, he performs very poorly in the poll data on NYC residents, when they ask if he would be a good president. In fact, I heard one survey saying they prefer that Bloomberg run for President over Guiliani. And if I remember correctly, whites even like the idea of a Bloomberg presidency better (The gap between these two guys for Blacks and Latinos is huge–they do not like Guiliani much at all.)

  2. 2
    donna darko says:

    No, she’s not lying. She’s always had mostly women of color staffers. I had no idea she had Asian women staffers. Names pleeze! I only know of Patti Solis (her campaign manager) and Crystal Patterson (her blogger). Can you imagine her cabinet?

  3. 3
    Robert says:

    I’d like to see a bar for “America” stuck in there. It would be pretty close to Joe Biden’s staff, I think. I’d also like to see a set of bars showing the staff proportion of various races, normalized to reflect the support of the party in question by those races.

  4. 4
    Ibod Catooga says:

    “But she’s the only one who can claim to have a staff that’s mostly people of color.”

    I’d prefer to have a qualified staff, no matter their color.

  5. 5
    hexy says:

    Ibod Catooga: And is there any reason to assume that isn’t exactly what she has?

  6. 6
    Nan says:

    Interesting, but in the end it’s the candidate that counts, not his or her staff. If I thought Clinton held even one opinion that wasn’t subject to immediate change based on polling data, I might consider voting for her. As it is, she’s like a human weather vane.

  7. 7
    Diatryma says:

    The rebuttal I’ve seen to that, Nan, is from Bitch PhD– whichever candidate wins will put his or her campaign staff in positions of power. They may not be cabinet positions, but the connections will still be there.

  8. 8
    Dianne says:

    In fact, I heard one survey saying they prefer that Bloomberg run for President over Guiliani. And if I remember correctly, whites even like the idea of a Bloomberg presidency better

    Heh. I certainly would perfer Bloomberg over Guiliani, but I’d prefer Clinton over either of them. Clinton has been a good senator and responsive to the desires of her constituents. She’s not brilliant or particularly brave, but she’s competent and, from what I’ve seen of her, probably the best politician of the bunch: can do sound bites and look presidential better than most.

  9. 9
    Decnavda says:

    On Colbert last night, he went into a gun store in South Carolina and asked the owner to suggest guns for a couple of the candidates. For Kucinich, he suggested pepper spray, which I thought was pretty good, but for Clinton, he suggested a tiny pearl-handled pistol, which was obviously just the owner being a sexist asshole. I think she would go for something with a laser sight.

  10. 10
    Decnavda says:

    Perhaps the mayor of New York just does does not often come into contact with people of color…

  11. 11
    donna darko says:

    No, Robert.

    The U.S. is 67% white so Edwards’ staff would be closest.

    Even when she was First Lady, her staffs were mostly women of color. Imagine if Karl Rove was a woman of color. That’s what we’re talking about here. Her mentors were also women of color.

  12. 12
    JenLovesPonies says:

    “I think Clinton may be lying. I have a very hard time believing that over half are people of color.”

    Rachel S, what makes you say this, exactly? I have a hard time believing she would lie about something that would be so easy to fact-check, especially when her competition isn’t as worried about a great mix of races among their staff?

  13. 13
    Joe says:

    donna darko Writes:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    No, Robert.

    The U.S. is 67% white so Edwards’ staff would be closest.

    Even when she was First Lady, her staffs were mostly women of color. Imagine if Karl Rove was a woman of color. That’s what we’re talking about here. Her mentors were also women of color.

    You mean like Ms. Rice?

  14. 14
    Charles says:

    “I think Clinton may be lying. I have a very hard time believing that over half are people of color.”

    Rachel S, what makes you say this, exactly? I have a hard time believing she would lie about something that would be so easy to fact-check, especially when her competition isn’t as worried about a great mix of races among their staff?

    Also, given that the linked page describes the survey (itself behind a paywall) as mentioning that there was no direct contact between the survey group and any of the Republican candidates, and given that the names and identities of campaign staffers are (I think) a matter of public record, I doubt that Clinton had the opportunity to lie.

    Also, Clinton’s campaign is mostly so much less White than the other Dem campaigns because it is so much more Asian, and her campaign has been attacked (with obvious anti-Asian bias) in the media for very actively pursuing Chinese American donors (something which would probably benefit from having a significant number of Chinese American staffers), so these staff proportions seem to line up with other descriptions of Clinton’s campaign.

  15. 15
    Rachel S. says:

    My sense would be the only way to lie, would be to manipulate the definition of a “staffer.” Since I think the Clinton’s are really smart and shady, I can easily see them doing that.

    And although I don’t agree or disagree with donna darko (mainly because I don’t know much about Clinton’s mentors), we don’t know the race and gender combos of the people.

  16. 16
    donna darko says:

    Joe, Rice is his foreign policy advisor. Rove is his advisor.

    Rachel, that’s right, they could be APIA men but given her previous staffs, I think they’re women. Her mentor was Marian Wright Edelman.

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  18. 17
    donna darko says:

    Why is Guiliani’s staff 100% white?

    Ohhh never mind.

  19. 18
    donna darko says:

    At Yale Law School, she met her future husband, Bill Clinton, and her lifelong mentor, Marian Wright Edelman; Edelman founded the Children’s Defense Fund, an organization that lobbies for children’s welfare.

    Guiliani has only one woman on his staff. People don’t think women of color notice these things? Fuck you, assholes! (I’m talking to the candidates.)

  20. 19
    Robert says:

    People don’t think women of color notice these things?

    I imagine that he thinks you’ll notice. Why should he care? You weren’t going to vote for him anyway.

  21. 20
    kyledeb says:

    This is a great breakdown. Thanks for the info. It’s really helpful to know all of this information.

  22. 21
    Phoenix Woman says:

    Hello everyone! Phoenix Woman from MR, coming by to see who was kicking up my hit count. :-)

    Along with the graph, here’s the really interesting thing (lifted from my post):

    Also telling: While DiversityInc.com was able to get extensive feedback from the people involved in the Democratic candidates’ campaigns, nobody on the Republican side would talk to them despite repeated efforts on DiversityInc.com’s part to contact them.

    Got that? Not a single person in ANY of the Republican campaigns would talk to Diversity.com about this. NONE. Whereas every single Democratic campaign was more than happy to talk with these people.

    I used to think that the top-level Republicans were only pretending to be racists for the rubes. Now I’m not so sure.

  23. 22
    donna darko says:

    Robert,

    Because this will be the women’s election and neanderthals will be their own worst enemy.

  24. 23
    donna darko says:

    The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Patti Solis hails from Chicago and likely to be White House chief of staff and gatekeeper should Mrs Clinton become president. The President’s Chief of Staff is a very powerful position sometimes dubbed “The Second-Most Powerful Man in Washington”. The current White House Chief of Staff is Joshua B. Bolten.

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  29. 24
    Ibod Catooga says:

    “And is there any reason to assume that isn’t exactly what she has?”

    I wouldn’t say that, given she had Mark Penn and the worst-run campaign since Jumanji Carter’s re-election attempt.

    I win!