CQ Builds up Burr's Creds Among Black Voters...Then Smashes Him in the Head with a Brick

Congressional Quarterly has a nice long piece about Senator Richard Burr. It's a little odd. They start out singing his praises about his support within the African American community.

Sen. Richard M. Burr has opened his ears — and his earmarks — to African-American causes.

Though only 12 percent of his votes came from black constituents in 2004, the North Carolina Republican’s attention to that segment of the electorate could pay dividends in 2010 — either by lowering intensity of black opposition to him or by showing white voters that Burr can work across political and racial spectrums.

It is the kind of political legwork that might make a subtle but significant difference in a close race.

“Those of us who read the records are very clear on what he’s done,” said George E. Battle Jr., a bishop in the A.M.E. Zion Church who supported Burr’s 2004 opponent, Democrat Erskine Bowles. “He’s always responsive. He’s always there.”

After spilling a good bit of ink building the guy up they deliver a swift brick to his head.

Jeffrey M. Elliot, chairman of the political science department at North Carolina Central University, said Burr’s outreach to African-Americans is so low-profile — and so much less important than his stance against the interests of black voters on major social and economic issues — that it isn’t likely to win him many votes.

At most, Elliot said, Burr’s work “may blunt the intensity of opposition” in the African-American community.

Battle, a former school board president who sits on Central Piedmont’s board, provides a personal example of that sentiment.

“In knowing all that I know about him, I certainly wouldn’t have a lot of reservations — if the right candidate wasn’t running against him — to vote for him.”

Right now, that remains a big “if.”

Oh...ouch. I'm not really sure what CQ was trying to accomplish with this piece. Richard Burr still hasn't defined himself. Cooper still hasn't declared for the office. The fact that Richard Burr isn't a completely abhorrent choice to black voters is a non-story.

Burr probably figured if he threw liberals a few bones we might take it easy on him in 2010. Fat chance.


If you look

at past Senate Republicans (and even Democrats if you go back a bit) from North Carolina, the fact that Burr is doing some things for blacks is a story, even if you think it may be disingenuous. You say that you are not sure what CQ was trying to accomplish. I think they were just providing some details and analysis into Burr's interplay with one of (if not the)the most powerful elements in North Carolina politics: race. I for one did not know Burr was making a concerted effort to attract blacks. Even it is only for show, the fact that he's been working on such issues is worth reporting, given the historical context and the fact that he has a very conservative record. Just my 2 cents..

If that's all they were reporting I would agree with you

but they giveth and taketh away in the same article. That's what confused me....not that they reported his outreach. Sorry if I was confusing...or confused. :)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


I will actually read the article! :-) ok, just did. Still think CQ is making valid points about Burr's outreach to blacks; then they caveat that by quoting someone who says his outreach is really not that big of a deal given his overall record on issues important the African American community. I agree that the two angles conflict, but I think that is just the balance in the piece. I think is was more tilted toward the angle they led with, however -- that he has been doing a lot for blacks. Course it's probably just political posturing. Or it might just be that he's a pretty good guy and wants to help the historically disadvantaged... M



I honestly was left with the feeling that even a broken clock is right twice a day. If they took a complete picture of the earmarks Burr has requested for the state and did an analysis, what portion was motivated by interactions with the African American community? Then compare that with other senators and see where he stands. You know, actually this would be a really good project.

Who volunteers to comb through Burr's earmarks?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well, we need to start

fine-tooth-combing him anyway, regardless of which intrepid Democrat steps up to run against him.

I have to say, when I rolled up my sleeves and started trying to unravel Liddy's mess, I kept thinking to myself, "I need more time, dammit!" :)

I'll start looking now, and maybe we can have a little side-meeting at the Bash to discuss, "areas of interest" or something.

Excerpt from Burr's discussion of Obama's economic

policy at the beginning of March.

"This is why we must keep our eye on the big picture. For two centuries, the American Dream has depended on the simple belief that men and women work hard so their children would have a better future. Looking at the spending priorities of Democrats in Washington in the proposed budget and over the past month, it's hard to escape the reality that for the first time we could see the American Dream vanish. Now, instead of working hard so our children can have a better life tomorrow, we are asking our children to work hard so that we don't have to make tough choices today.

"It's long past time to show restraint and to make the tough choices that will help put our fiscal house in order. Generations of Americans past have often been called on to make great sacrifices for their country. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Is it not time for government to make sacrifices for future generations? It's time for those elected to lead. Will we rise to the challenge, and make the tough choices necessary? Or will we simply hand the obligation to our children and wish them good luck?"

Richard is worried that the American Dream might vanish! He is worried that the government, THE GOVERNMENT should be making sacrifices for future generations of Americans.

Where the hell was Richard Burr when the GOVERNMENT was making full fledged war on Iraq and spending money like they could not only print it, but ship it by the pallet loads to other countries where it would disappear into the ether of Republican responsibility?

He was voting to spend, spend, spend and print, print, print.

I'm pretty sure the black, white, brown, green and multi-colored peoples of America are all down with Richard and his recent turn around on the lack of responsibility the GOVERNMENT has placed on economics.

Well, except for the fact that the current administration is trying to overcome the VOTES that RICHARD BURR was strongly FOR when it came to WAR and WASTE as long as a REPUBLICAN was President.

Hypocrit? Oh, Yes!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Talk about skewered logic

@Betsy:"Burr probably figured if he threw liberals a few bones we might take it easy on him in 2010. Fat chance."

Are you saying that all African-Americans in North Carolina are liberals?

That's sort of a non sequitur isn't it?

Nope...not what I was saying at all

Most liberals would approve of his efforts to help the African American community. You don't have to be African American to be pleased when an elected official helps the black community, right?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Do you know what non sequitur means?

Just asking, because if you think that asking if a Republican has stated something that is not only humorous and absurd is abnormal, then you know the meaning.

If you think that Betsy has stated something humorous and absurd, then you missed the point in the first place.

BTW, all Americans are not liberal. African-Americans, Irish-Americans, Iraqi-Americans, English-Americans, Mexican-Americans,Italian-Americans, or any other melting pool Americans. Just the enlightened ones.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!


I can't wait until 2010! I know I am going to do everything I can do to Support WHO EVER RUNS AGAINST HIM. The Money needs to start flowing NOW. Someone needs to step up! NeoCON rule is officially OVER. So lets get rid of these JERKS! NC IS BLUE!!! SO LETS ACT LIKE!

Anthony D. Hall,

Fighting for Truth, Justice, Freedom and the American Way!

I saw this....

On the Huff Post the other day.

Anthony D. Hall,

Fighting for Truth, Justice, Freedom and the American Way!