Is Kerry really the stronger candidate on the issue of tribal sovereignty? In that radio story, the get-out-the-vote people going door-to-door are heard saying, "He's got a 20 year record of working with tribes on a sovereign basis." But is that saying anything of substance? I tried to figure out which candidate has a stronger position on tribal sovereignty, but I couldn't find anything on either candidate's website. I do know Bush has an embarrassing sound bite on the subject. According to the Native American Times:
The Kerry campaign [after Bush's embarrassing sound bite] issued a release criticizing Bush’s comments and touting the endorsement they have received from national tribal officials.In other words, Kerry sees Native Americans as a rich source of votes. I like the way the Native American Times article ends with this savvy comment from a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe:
"I am proud to receive the endorsement of tribal and community leaders from around the country," said Kerry. "Our Native Americans for Kerry-Edwards effort continues to grow every day and these leaders will play a critical role in helping to energize, organize and mobilize the Native American community as we head towards November 2nd."
"From what I read the Democrats are concerned that Bush left out one or two things that they thought were important. Well, the Democrats also leave one or two words out of their speeches. I don’t think the Democrats know any more about sovereignty than Republicans do,” he said. “ I think both parties are reaching out to include Native Americans-and why wouldn’t they? The Republicans are reaching out just like the Democrats.”One answer to my fears about niche targeting and cultivation may be that people are actually pretty good at detecting political manipulation.