Speed Reads

2016 Watch

NAACP head praises Rand Paul

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Over at NPR, Liz Holloran's latest piece on Sen. Rand Paul's efforts to loosen the Democratic Party's lock on black votes included some positive feedback from a prominent African-American leader:

"He's a different voice in the arena that we don't traditionally hear," says Lorraine Miller, acting head of the NAACP, who expects to invite Paul to speak at the organization's July national conference in Las Vegas.

"He's an engaging guy — that's why we want to talk to him," Miller says. Miller is not the only black leader who has been intrigued by Paul, whose father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, had three unsuccessful presidential runs and amassed a fervent Libertarian following.

Miller's predecessor, Benjamin Jealous, has previously hailed Paul's position on reforming drug and sentencing laws, which disproportionately affect African-American individuals and families... [NPR]

This hardly constitutes an endorsement, of course. But you've got to start somewhere. Give Miller credit for welcoming diverse viewpoints, and give Paul credit for engaging a community of voters that — let's be honest — too many Republicans have simply written off.