All four leading Republican candidates had somewhere else to be, rather than take part in a forum on African-American issues hosted by PBS's Tavis Smiley.
This is despicable, of course. It is bad for the Republicans. It would be worse, of course, if they had any realistic chance of winning over any any black voters except Alan Keyes. Maybe. It would be a lot worse if they hadn't already worked out a gentelemen's agreement with Diebold, to make sure that no black votes get counted in 2008. Also no Muslim votes, no Hispanic votes except in Florida, no Jewish votes over 60, and no northeastern votes except the Romney clan.