Echoes of CPAC – A Politisite Interview with Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, Fmr. Ohio Secretary of State

Now that the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is almost a month past, this might be a good time for Politisite readers to hear some of the more personal perspectives that were offered by some prominent CPAC attendees.  Over the next week or so, I’ll post some of the interviews that were conducted at CPAC over March 14th-16th.

Our second Politisite – ”Echoes of CPAC” interview will be with Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State and now a Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council.  NOTE:  This interview was conducted just a few days before the Republican National Committee released its “Growth & Opportunity Report.” 

By Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams:  As far as where we are going from the 2012 Elections, as far as diversity within in the Party and doing outreach and really expanding the Tent… how do you think that things are going to proceed going into 2016 and then to 2020, over the next eight years?  Is the Party making changes?

Ken Blackwell, Fmr. Ohio Secretary of State
Ken Blackwell,
Fmr. Ohio Secretary of State

KB:  I think we are making changes in how we are delivering our message.  We’re not changing the Principles.  One of the beauties of a Two-Party System is that is a Two-Party System lends itself to contrast and civil conflict and so we must provide an alternative worldview to the Collectivist worldview of the Left.

Jennifer Williams:  That’s true.  I actually directed a film called “Fear Of A Black Republican” and we looked at why the Party is doing so poorly with the African-American and Urban populations in our country.  Long-term, as the demographics of our Country change and the Country gets more Urbanized… do you think there are some solutions that might be easily workable for the Republican National Committee and the GOP?  We don’t have to change the message, we just have to have a message and bring it in.

KB:  One, you have to “place the order.”  If we expect to make inroads, we have to  it’s a very dynamic process.  Back in the 60s and the 50s, there were [almost] as many Black Republicans as there were Black Democrats.  And so, what we have to do now is say, “Empowering the individual, championing the Family, being a leading light for the protection of Life and helping people to understand that economic growth, growing the economic pie is essential to creating greater opportunities for all Americans and particularly, for Black Americans.”

Jennifer Williams:  How about utilizing Black Media through interviews, stories and even advertising?  This historically has not been done by the GOP…

KB:  You are absolutely right.  And I’ve said this for twenty years. Part of “placing the order” is “placing the order” through the medium or media that speaks to the people you are trying to communicate with.  So if you are not going to go on Radio or TV and go to where… Black brains and ears are… you are not going to be able to “place the order.”

Jennifer Williams:  One of things we have found (with our film) is that advertising in Black Media… even Gospel stations rates are ridiculously inexpensive.  Twenty-five bucks for a one-minute ad in some markets. 


Jennifer Williams:  We are seeing nationally that there’s a lot of talk that the Republican Party is really going to try and open it up, to try and become more diverse… there hasn’t been any announcement on methods or what they are going to do to make the State and County GOPs engage in our cities… like Philadelphia, Trenton, Chicago, Los Angeles or Cleveland.  How is that going to happen?

KB:  Look, I’m still waiting for the “real plan” to come from the national Party.  But, I will tell you where the greatest impact will take place is in bright, aggressive County and State [GOP] Parties.  And that is where we are going to have to develop… to do the candidate recruitment, the candidate development and one of the things that we have to realize is that those young people and the middle-aged and elderly people who take the risk and stand on the front-lines running for office… you can’t just put them out there once… and then, if they don’t win – kick them to the curb!

Jennifer Williams:  Which happens a lot.

KB:  It happens too much!


CPAC 2013 Stage The Night Before

About Jennifer Williams 53 Articles
Jennifer Williams - Politics and Entertainment Editor Jennifer Williams is a writer and interviewer based in the Eastern United States who has interviewed thought leaders and opinion makers such as Steve Forbes, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Michael Steele, Christine Todd Whitman, Grover Norquist, Catherine Davis, Jim Gilmore, Stephen Baldwin, Rick Santorum, Kirk Cameron and the late Edward W. Brooke. Jennifer has directed and produced a number of media projects after working in a variety of production roles on films such as A BEAUTIFUL MIND, SIGNS, HACK, SURRENDER DOROTHY, LIKE MIKE, I.Q., and JERSEY GIRL. She and her producing partner are currently working on a political documentary due for release in 2017. Jennifer is the Entertainment & Politics Editor for Politisite and Executive Editor of The Williams View... as well as an alum of Tulane University, La Salle University and New York University.

Be the first to comment