Open Thread: Artur Davis to Speak at RNC, Completes Transition

It looks like former Alabama congressman Artur Davis has completed his transition from Democrat to Republican. Davis, the first congressman not from Illinois to endorse President Barack Obama during his candidacy will help the Republican Party continue a recent tradition of featuring Democrats and former Democrats at its nominating convention, the party announced today.

Davis also has come forward to attack vice president Joe Biden's offensive statement that Republicans want to put black Americans "back in chains" in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer:

When I heard the vice president of the United States, someone I grew up admiring, someone i've been on platforms with, when I heard him go to Danville, Virginia, and talk about politics in a way that no serious candidate ought to talk about it, when I heard him reach the bottom of the deck and talk about one party putting people in chains, when I heard someone I had admired and been on platforms with talk about ordinary conservative principles as being essentially racial viciousness - because that's the allegation he was making yesterday - I was disappointed by it.

But I have to tell you it brought back memories of me.  It brought back memories of Democratic politicians in the South who think they can go before black crowds and say one thing, that nobody else will hear it and they can get a cheer in the room, and they can blithely go on about their business.  That's not the way you can do politics anymore because of the media and I think Vice President Biden - I hope Vice President Biden learned an important lesson. You can't say one thing to a certain kind of people thinking nobody else is hearing you. [...]

But I happen to have spoken to a few African-American audiences in my time, representing predominantly African-American district. I know what Joe Biden was doing yesterday.  And every black person in that room knew who the y'all was.  They knew what the chains were about.  They knew what the metaphor was.

And I will give that audience credit.  If you listen to a tape of that audience, you actually hear what appear to be boos, or what appears to be shock from some people in that audience.  That says a lot that is very good about people in that audience that when Joe Biden went to a place he never should have gone then instead of getting the cheers he just knew he'd get, he got a negative reaction from a lot of the African-Americans in the room.  That doesn't lift up Joe Biden or excuse his comments, but it says something positive about the people in that audience.

How significant do you think Davis's presence at the convention and helping Romney generally will be?


2012 Presidential Artur Davis