candidates encountered racism; some resisted ID-required voting procedures.

candidates encountered racism; some resisted ID-required voting procedures.
The New York Times today talks to the professional political operatives who worked on American Candidate alongside the fake candidates. Former RNC chair Rich Bond “[was] paired with Keith Boykin, a 38-year-old gay black man who worked in the Clinton White House,” but says he “worked hard” for his candidate despite differences in their ideologies. Bond also says that the show encountered resistance to some of its procedures: “I was stunned by the number of African-Americans who backed away when they were asked for their driver’s licenses or Social Security numbers [to vote as part of the show]. It really sensitized me to the fact that there are these artificial barriers to participation that are in the system.” Joe Trippi, Howard Dean’s former campaign manager, says that a group of bikers “turned their backs on” a black candidate at one stop “because he was African-American.” Despite the artificial nature of the show, Republican pollster Frank Luntz said, “In one sense, the reality television was more real than real life. The candidate actually lived or died by their own performance, as opposed to campaigns, which have a lot of external influences.”

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