For those of you who may not be from Alabama, Artur Davis is a former U.S. Representative from Alabama that ran for Governor of Alabama but lost in the Democratic primary to Ron Sparks. He gave the seconding speech to the Democratic National Convention that officially placed then Senator Obama’s name up for nomination. He was the first Congressman that officially endorsed Obama. Davis and Obama were classmates at Harvard and Davis was the co-chair of the Obama campaign. He was an up and coming young leader in the Democratic Party, even being mentioned as a possible Attorney General candidate though he said he would have refused the position. After losing the Democratic primary in 2008, Davis knew that he had to do something to keep his name in the spotlight so he switched to the GOP.
The problem with Davis is that his loss in the Democratic primary was entirely his own fault. After rallying for and helping Obama win the White House, he turned his back on the newly elected President. He voted no on President Obama’s health care proposal, voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have outlawed same-sex marriage, and voting to increase drilling for oil and gas in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge. All of these things pushed the Democratic voters in the primary strongly to the side of Ron Sparks, who won fairly easily 62-38. Davis then blamed everyone from black voters to the president for his loss because they didn’t support his candidacy. In an effort to get back at them and to keep his name in the spotlight, he switched parties.
With Davis on board, the GOP shoved his name back into the spotlight, giving him a speaking slot at this year’s Republican National Convention. The fact that there is now an educated black man that was friends with and once supported President Obama and has now “seen the light” and came to the GOP and is speaking at the convention to nominate Mitt Romney is a tactic that they will hope to use to help pull more black voters to the party’s side. However, while many people still feel that Davis is still a very bright and intelligent politician, he’s lost nearly all credibility with his base. If the evidence wasn’t clear enough for him during his gubernatorial campaign, then maybe he should just ride down to Birmingham to his old district and ask them what they think of him. I can guarantee you that many are still spiteful for his betrayal and will want to put even more distance between themselves and him or anyone he supports.
So while the GOP and Mitt Romney may see Davis as a key to helping close the gap in the black vote, he actually just mimics what’s becoming a trend for GOP leaders: flip-flopping. Mitt Romney has flipped on about every possible stance he can so why wouldn’t he have someone speaking at his nominating convention that has made the ultimate flip-flop…the one to a whole new party.