The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Republican Party

RNC Chairman Candidates Split on Charged Stocking Stuffer

Updated 10:58 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
Republicans who are vying to lead the national party offered a mix of reactions today to the decision by one candidate for the job to mail out a music CD including the song "Barack the Magic Negro."

Chip Saltsman defended his actions, telling the Hill newspaper that the song -- and others on the CD, which was mailed to party members -- were nothing more than light-hearted parodies. But his rivals in the race to chair the Republican National Committee said it carried an inaccurate message about what the GOP stands for.

"In my opinion, this isn't funny and its in bad taste," said Michigan party chairman Saul Anuzis. "Just as important, anything that paints the GOP as being motivated in our criticism of President-elect Obama by anything other than a difference in philosophy does a disservice to our party."

Current national chairman Mike Duncan, who is running for reelection, issued a statement about the CD as well.

"The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party. I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate, as it clearly does not move us in the right direction," Duncan said.

But some of Saltsman's rivals responded more mildly. Former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, one of two black candidates for the job, said the leadership of the party needs to "appreciate how our actions and our words are oftentimes used to define who we are as Republicans."

"I know Chip Saltsman, I know his character; and while his attempt at humor was clearly misplaced, it does not make him indifferent to the important work of building the coalitions necessary to make our party stronger," Steele said in a statement. "And yet, we must be mindful that self-inflicted wounds not only distract us from regaining our strength as a Party, but further diminish our credibility with an increasingly diverse community of voters. As RNC Chairman, I want us to be a lot smarter about such things and more appreciative that our actions always speak louder than our words."

And former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell defended Saltsman and attacked -- who else? -- the media.

"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-elect Obama being the first African American elected president," Blackwell, who is black, said in a statement.

"I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them," he added. "When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."

Saltsman took a similar line today, calling out the media for reporting on his holiday gift.

"Liberal Democrats and their allies in the media didn't utter a word about David Ehrenstein's irresponsible column in the Los Angeles Times last March. But now, of course, they're shocked and appalled by its parody on 'The Rush Limbaugh Show,' " Saltsman said in a statement today, referring to the op-ed article that reportedly inspired the song lyrics.

"I firmly believe that we must welcome all Americans into our party and that the road to Republican resurgence begins with unity, not division. But I know that our party leaders should stand up against the media's double standards and refuse to pander to their desire for scandal."

Posted at 5:34 PM ET on Dec 27, 2008  | Category:  Republican Party
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: Obama's Vacation: Power Returns to Oahu | Next: At Home and Abroad, a Tough Road Ahead for Obama

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Rooster54- Your vague statement does little to change my opinion of Socialism as a better method than Capitalism.

I saw another comment that somehow the principles of Capitalism; that the Butcher, the Merchant, and others will strive to make themselves beneficial to better their own products-Thus improving themselves, were complicit in the Financial Scams that occurred in our so-called Capitalist Markets.
That somehow, Banks are also supposed to be exempt from controls...
That, is just plain idiocy! First, Banks are secured by the FDIC! Second, any group that is holding other people's money, is only wisely closely watched and fully regulated!
Operating Business Ventures, and things like Community Programs, Banking, Financing, Military, and Insurance, are simply DIFFERENT!
There are limits to where Regulation in reference to Capitalistic Principles apply!

In a great example of where I believe you are wrong, consider the So-Called "Palestinians". Should we just keep subsidizing them, or maybe try to create opportunity for them to be able to compete with others? IF, they had any brains at all, and were not blood thirsty dead-beats just out to cause problems;
They could be viewed as a great place/source to promote.
The Socialistic venture of supporting their dead-beat arses for 60 years now, has simply created a multi-generational collection of Loser Murderers!

Socialism does not work-and neither do the People!

Posted by: SAINT---The | December 29, 2008 4:14 PM

I discuss this article and the "controversy" here:

In regards to this article, note that WaPo hack Michael Shear refers to the "op-ed article that reportedly inspired the song lyrics". While it would be great if Shear were demoted, let's hope it wouldn't be to reviewing Weird Al albums, because he wouldn't understand those either.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | December 29, 2008 3:17 PM

Dipstick Chip attacks Dave Ehrenstein by way of defending himself,. It'sthe age old excuse of speeders, "How come you're ticketing me for doing 90 in a 35 mph zone. I'm not the only one who's over the limit?" and that translates into "I'm not the only bigot around so why are you singling me out?"

Sounds like true blue Republican National Committee Chairman material to me.

Posted by: cynicalismo | December 29, 2008 2:45 PM

The most urgent question for the GOP is whether an insensitive clod like Saltsman, or others of his ilk, should lead the Republican Party. Truth be told, many so-called leaders in the GOP will never accept someone of color as president. Wasted on these idiots is the true meaning of 'loyal opposition.'

Posted by: Diogenes | December 29, 2008 1:42 PM

Hey, Spitzer made bad decisions, why can't Saltzman?

Posted by: naahbob | December 29, 2008 11:11 AM

Even his name is stupid. Chip Saltsman? Come on, how dumb is that? How do you tell Chip to get some I.Q. points and good judgment?

Posted by: TrueBlue2 | December 29, 2008 8:54 AM

You can let Chip Saltsman know directly what you think of his Christmas CD. His address (thanks to is:
John "Chip" Saltsman
6221 Brownlee Drive
Nashville TN 37205

Posted by: HughBriss | December 29, 2008 12:05 AM

Steele's mealy mouth response to Saltman's stupidity would make him the ideal RNC Chairman. He would not be the racist but he would allow it to thrive in the Republican Party.

Republicans are not going to change as I thought they would. This is going to be a contentious two years.

Posted by: Gator-ron | December 28, 2008 6:55 PM

Racial jokes are always in good taste.

Beside, since when have the politics of division and racial stereotyping been at odds with Republican values? This is the party that exploited racial bias and fear in the days of Nixon and Reagan. Even more recently, Republicans painted Obama as an Arab and Muslim. Why stop now?

Let the "negro" people know where they stand, despite the victory of a black candidate for President. It's Obama magic, not any particular ability that won this black man the presidency.

Any pivot away from divisiveness and bigotry would lead to a Republican party I wouldn't recognize.

Posted by: NeilSagan | December 28, 2008 5:18 PM

When one personifies wealth, one starts to feel empathy for wealth and antipathy for anything or anyone who is perceived as a threat to wealth. This is the love of money that is the root of all evil.

People are to be served by wealth (capital). People like Alan Keys personify wealth and expect us to serve it as our master. Capital has no conscience. It does not care about us. It will not solve our problems. It is something we create, and control.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 4:59 PM

At one point, I was thinking that maybe Saltsman's former master, Huckleberry, would have made a good Chairman.

Now, I have to say:


Saltsman, Huckster, and soooo many other Gaffing clowns like "What a Rush" Limbough, alienate soooo many people who would support a pragmatic Capitalistically Based Republican Party, that their presence in the Light, is OBSCENE!

Get them GONE! Nail Huckleberry to his Cross, and OD that moron Rush!

Folks, go to, and to view a GOOD Direction for the GOP to follow!

What we need right now, is opportunity and investment for LEGAL Americans, and ventured capital into Capitalistic Ventures-Including such places as Colombia, Panama, and Peru;

That offer so much potential!

Face it. We need opportunity in places where opportunity can be created! This Country has tried to build too much here!

"Conservative" to me, has become a hypocritical Four Letter Word!

WASPs need to STFU, and let the Capitalists take over!

Posted by: SAINT---The | December 28, 2008 3:45 PM

I guess Republicans are just incorrigible. They will never learn. If somone makes an off the cuff remark I could almost agree that we should not overreact. But this bigot is sending a CD to other party members. And what about all the garbage that came out of the Republican campaign about "real Americans" and "could we trust Obama". Yes McCain admonished the ignorant woman at the Republican rally, but all he said was that Obama was not an Arab, not that there was nothing wrong simply in being an Arab, or muslim.

They claim the liberal media is making a big deal about nothing. Yet when Obama's previous black minister lashed out at the injustice of whites towards blacks, the Republicans and their conservative media were quick, loud and persistent in their criticism. But here's the difference. Obama did not laugh it off, but gave a great speech in which he showed his understanding of some black peoples' anger, yet explained his belief in the change that has and is still occurring. The speech helped unite many Americans behind him. At the same time he explained that he could no longer take the reverend's counsel.

Many Republicans will never admit any mistakes. It's always someone else's fault. Now in the last days of the Bush presidency we are getting the same denying of any wrongdoing from them. It's a disease which will leave the Republicans out of power until it is cured.

Posted by: dlaselvaca | December 28, 2008 3:20 PM

Although real wealth is produced by physical labor, it is those who finance, insure, or manage that labor who take almost all of the wealth produced by it. To be able to do this, one assumes one's self to be somehow more deserving than others.
This feeds right into racism and economic elitism.

Today's republican party is a magnet for racists and economic elitists.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 11:45 AM

Key witness to republican voter fraud and obstruction of justice, Michael Connell, had the potential of de-fanging Karl Rove by revealing who was behind these illegal activities. Strange, though, how Connell DIED LAST WEEK in a coincidental plane crash. Look it up.

Republicans are supported by people who assume superiority and privelege over the rest of us, to the extent that the ends justify the means for their dispicable acts.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 11:04 AM

Way to go GOP - on your way to becoming the waiting for Jesus, lily white party of the trailer parks of the old Confederate core.....and of states where nobody lives ... like Wyoming.

Yeah that's the ticket to victory! What a bunch of morons....


Posted by: toritto | December 28, 2008 10:55 AM

Saltsman is just saying in public what most of his puerile colleagues say in private.

Rush needs to go away. A boycott of his sponsors would be a good start. I hope Clear Channel regrets their $400 million investment in doing the devil's work.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 9:52 AM

(to the melody of Barack the Magic Negro or Puff the Magic Dragon)

Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty,
Little Dicky Cheney loved that rascal Bush,
And brought him water boards, illegal wire taps and other fancy stuff. oh

Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty
Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty

Together they would travel on a Presidential yacht filled with felons, child molesters, liars and corrupt political appointees.
Dickie kept a lookout while Dubya huffed and puffed and failed his own country,
Hastert, Delay, Foley, Craig, Vitter, Gonzalez, Libby, Stevens, Brownie, Rummy the list's too long to explain,
Somali pirate ships should all lower their flags to honor the Republican hall of shame. oh!

Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty
Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty

A dragon lives forever but not so the two faced, lying and corrupt
West wings and campaign finance rings make way for boy toys behind bars.
One grey night it happened, Barack came knocking on the White House door
And Bush that cagey conman, ceased his feckless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, the neocons cried in pain,
Dickie could no longer play along the Camp David lane.
Outside the oval office, Dubya could not be brave,
So Bush that feckless conman sadly slipped into his Crawford cave. oh!

Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty
Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP
Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of dishonesty

Posted by: williambanzai7 | December 28, 2008 6:58 AM

It's just a joke.

And I'm having a good laugh at the GOP.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 28, 2008 1:03 AM

If there is a heaven, (or a hell), then Rush Limbaugh will reincarnate as Gary Coleman.

Posted by: seemstome | December 27, 2008 11:25 PM

Rush the rotund racist lives on poisoned glee, and sells his ills while popping pills to feed the bigotry.

Posted by: seemstome | December 27, 2008 11:03 PM

I don't care who wrote this parody or whatever it was, racism has caused millions of people to die, to live under sanctions that prevent them from becoming all that they could be, and cause untold grief and fear. In my household, I do not allow comments or jokes about race, religion, or anything else that diminishes human beings or makes sport of them. It is childish and ignorant to continue these forms of communication. Even denigrating ones own "group" for "fun," is best just put away with the "Hot Wheels," and "Cabbage Patch Dolls." When you grow up, you don't need these things to play with. If people can't let go of their prejudices, they need to make an appointment with a therapist. (Are you listening, Rush??)

Posted by: commoner3 | December 27, 2008 11:02 PM

Keep it up GOP, just keep it up, please.

And they try to claim Obama is the racist.

Nothing but a bunch of angry old dumb-as$ bigots.

First, Palin's website full of racist "Christians" and now this.

Keep it up and soon there will be no more Republicans in office.

Does anybody really believe these guys want to make America a better place?

Posted by: JRM2 | December 27, 2008 11:01 PM

What a tawdry way for the Republicans to make themselves even more irrelevant. If only somebody could defang Carl Rove, I'd think we could look forward to a rational re-arrangement of political forces.

Posted by: thaimex | December 27, 2008 10:07 PM

But since the black man Blackwell says Saltsman's actions aren't too bad, then it's okay, right???? LOL

Posted by: OceanDog | December 27, 2008 9:32 PM

Obama the 'Magic Negro' By David Ehrenstein, black columnist for LATimes, March 19, 2007

No one in the press said a word when the Magic Negro column was published. Limbaugh used the song on his program to: “illustrate the absurdity of the absurd.” Limbaugh got it right, The liberal press missed it entirely…until now. The ‘incensed’ people writing here also completely miss the irony. The irony: a black writer calls Obama the ‘Magic Negro’ and no one cares until a conservative calls attention to it. See folks, it is ok for a black liberal in the media to call Obama the Magic Negro, but it is racist for a conservative to point it out and show how absurd it was.,0,5335087.story?coll=la-opinion-center

Posted by: fledermaus1 | December 27, 2008 9:17 PM

Mr. Obama will have to face an endless stream of prejudiced people reminding him of his race, even after he leaves office. Prejudice is everywhere. But Mr. Obama will rise above it just as he has for all his life. Just as all minorities have always done in the face of prejudice. He will look down at the people making "fun" of being "negro" and pitty them. It's a shame that we have to share this beautiful land with the likes of Mr. Saltsman and Mr. Limbaugh; but on the other hand, without people like that, there would be no need for people like Mr. Obama.

Posted by: texaslightnin | December 27, 2008 9:06 PM

Posted by: Snowdog | December 27, 2008 7:42 PM |

"You know what I am tired of? The constant misuse of the word racist. I swear - 99% of you haven't the slightest clue as to what that term means in any way, shape, or form,

The song is not racist in ANY way.

I really wish all liberals would board a ship and that it would sink. The world would be a much better place."
ESPECIALLY the NEGRO libtards, right, snowdog?

C'mon, mah boy - let your real feelings out. We understand...

Posted by: T-Prop | December 27, 2008 8:57 PM

Usually these sorts of things just spin helplessly down the toilet.

But these GOP nuggets are aggressively SWIMMING down the tubes.

And how about a party that is losing Hispanic voters left and right singing along to "The Star Spanglish Banner"!?

Of course they're racist. And they're not just racist: they're stupid.

Don't stop, fellas. Tell us how you really feel. We've got another election in 2010, and it's good to be reminded.

Posted by: Lou3 | December 27, 2008 8:38 PM

i think it shows disrespect but it seems people have no respect for anyone or anything now days. and for leaders of our nation to send this it shows the true feelings even if they try and play it off as a joke. there is nothing funny or cute or smart to make fun of someone. i find it rude and offensive and it says something about the ones who sent it and the ones who enjoyed it.

Posted by: icewater1 | December 27, 2008 8:24 PM

Pure Class, the RNC. Yeah it's reaaally funny.

Yeah, and I used to vote RNC down the line.

Used to.

Now, THAT'S funny, isn't it RNC? THAT'S funny!!!!

Posted by: T-Prop | December 27, 2008 8:19 PM

Forget bin Laden, how about sending our boys down south and clean out the Klan once and for all. The RNC needs to tell Saltzsman to burn his sheet and straighten up. Geez, how long do we have to listen to this ignorance. I will never vote for another Republican as long as this crap keeps going on. I hope Obama gives the South some educational money so they can get them educated--they're an embarrasment to our nation.

Posted by: commoner3 | December 27, 2008 7:58 PM

Those who wish to be offended will be. The rest are entertained, very slightly.

Posted by: Thinker1 | December 27, 2008 7:51 PM

You know what I am tired of? The constant misuse of the word racist. I swear - 99% of you haven't the slightest clue as to what that term means in any way, shape, or form,

The song is not racist in ANY way.

I really wish all liberals would board a ship and that it would sink. The world would be a much better place.

Posted by: Snowdog | December 27, 2008 7:42 PM

So, because the media didn't make a big deal out the article in the Los Angeles Times, somehow that makes Saltsman blameless?

Saltsman, dude!!! That's called the 'Two Wrongs Make a Right' fallacy. You've got a real wacked-out way of looking at things, Chippy. Somehow, I don't think you will be the next leader of your party... and if you ARE, your party is in more trouble than anyone ever guessed.

Posted by: mavisdarling | December 27, 2008 7:38 PM

I give saltsman 72 to 96 hours and he'll issue a statement withdrawing from the RNC chair race. He'll blame the media of course; he'll appear contrite; he'll apologize; but deep inside he's still a racist.

Posted by: chubbycheckers | December 27, 2008 7:33 PM

Repukes have always been bigots who hate the values in the American Constitution. Their opposition to "hate crimes" is in reality support for their continued bigoted hateful behavior. If it weren't for their appeal to the ugly side of humans they would have nothing to sell.

Posted by: qcdude3 | December 27, 2008 7:12 PM

Blackees in the Whitee House, oh my!

Posted by: chasemonster | December 27, 2008 7:07 PM

The 'CD gift' points out how blind Republican politicians are to changes in the wind. 21st century America has a growing ethnic population that will soon become the majority. White supremacy is dead. Racism still exists, but for most of us it's a kinder, gentler racism sans hatred and violence.

Old school racism based on white supremacy has dwindled to a small stronghold in the South. These are the hard core fanatics, clinging to a culture 50 years behind the times.

As long as the GOP is headed by a bunch of old white guys who are part of this culture, there is no hope of a comeback. The RNC needs to do a major barn cleaning, instill some fresh blood and some 21st century ideology.

Posted by: corporatemediawatcher | December 27, 2008 6:57 PM

The 'publicans remind me of the story about the scorpion and the frog....says the scorpion to the frog as the frog swims the scorpion on his back across the pond: "it's just my nature," and so the scorpion stings the frog in mid-pond and they both die.

This is a prelude to the divisive and despicable actions we'll see post inauguration.

Posted by: odell1 | December 27, 2008 6:50 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company