'Magic Negro' Flap May Help GOP Pol

RNC members rally against outrage over tasteless satire
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Dec 30, 2008 12:33 PM CST
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is a rival of Saltsman for RNC chairman, and would be the first African-American in the post. He declined to condemn Saltsman.   (AP Photo/Julie Malakie, File)
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(Newser) – When a conservative politician is called racist, expect a backlash. The fracas over Chip Saltsman’s distribution of the song “Barack the Magic Negro” in his campaign to be Republican National Committee chairman has, as per usual, caused compatriots to flock to his defense, Politico reports, and may actually work to his benefit. Committee members are put off by what they see as feigned outrage. “This is just people looking for something to make an issue of,” says an Alabama committeeman.

Some Saltsman rivals have rebuked him for using the song; incumbent chairman (and competitor for the post) Mike Duncan said he was appalled. But in a party that considers itself under siege already, such criticism may not win friends. “Mike Duncan is a nice guy, but he screwed up big time by pandering to the national press on this,” says one committee member.