Paul Ryan black Ex: Does It Really Matter?

Paul Ryan black Ex: Does It Really Matter? By United States Congress [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Do voters care that Paul Ryan’s former girlfriend was black?

Now that the presidential campaign is in full swing, the attention of the voting public and the media have turned their attention to the candidates that are looking to occupy the White House.

Since the August 11th announcement of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, there have been many articles and opinions written about the young, energetic Congressman from Wisconsin.

CNN Reporter Peter Hamby tweeted a 2005 quote from Ryan to Milwaukee Magazine stating that his college sweetheart was black.

The Root’s political correspondent, Keli Goff then posted an article asking the question “does it matter?”

Goff writes, “Certainly, having a relationship with someone of a different race does not automatically make someone more racially sensitive and enlightened. … In other words, it is possible to have a black friend, Asian friend, Hispanic friend or Muslim friend or wife and still exhibit prejudice toward that group. The friend or wife is simply viewed as the exception who is not like the others.”

New York Daily News calls the article an “incredibly dumb piece” and writes, “This pointless piece ends up taking the long way around to implying Ryan is bad for black people and may not like them much, despite the fact that he has a black sister-in-law and a black ex-girlfriend.”

It remains to be seen what effect this revelation will have on voter opinion, if at all. Racial politics was a large part of the campaign in 2008 and many believe that it was the determining factor in the election results.

Will this hurt the Republican campaign in the deep South? Will it help the Romney/Ryan campaign amongst minority voters? Whether it matters remains to be seen.

Do you think Paul Ryan‘s ex-girlfriends skin color has any bearing on the 2012 presidential race?