Republican challenger Mitt Romney has hired Tara Wall, a former black television journalist and an appointee from the George W. Bush administration, to be a top advisor to his presidential campaign on outreach to the African-American community.
After a 13 years as a television news reporter and anchor in Michigan, Wall switched to the political side, holding communications positions with the Republican National Committee and for the Bush administration, including in the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding at the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Her latest job was as a conservative columnist and Deputy Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Times.
According to a story in The Washington Post, Wall has already been meeting with Romney’s senior advisors to craft an outreach plan to African Americans. While the Romney team realizes that it is highly unlikely they will siphon away any black support from Obama, they are hoping that by demonstrating that Romney is attempting to reach out to black voters he will be seen as more inclusive and tolerant to independents and more moderate Republicans who are worried about his embrace of his party’s radical right fringe during his primary battles with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
“From a messaging standpoint, we need to be able to communicate and relate to these communities about how they are being impacted by Obama’s policies,” Wall told the Post. “It’s the right thing to do, and it’s an important part of the process. It’s not a ploy, it’s not a tactic, it’s part of who we are. We have to show up.”