Over at National Review Online, IWF President and CEO Michelle Bernard talks about the leading GOP presidential hopefuls decision to skip the PBS/Tavis Smiley debate focused issues of concern to African American voters.  Michelle thinks skipping the debate was a mistake, but all hope isn’t lost for GOP when it comes to courting black voters:

“It was a mistake to skip the Tavis Smiley debate, but now GOP candidates need to move forward to earn as many votes from African Americans as possible. The key to the political soul of black voters in America is pretty simple – equal opportunity and economic prosperity. If Republicans communicate their message effectively, 2008 may be a turning point in the battle for the political soul of the black vote.

“If I were on the campaign trail, I would speak with black voters about the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education and the Little Rock Nine. I would talk about the disgraceful state of public education in America today, and unabashedly declare school choice the legacy of Brown and its legal progeny. Parents of children in urban schools have been told for years that public education just needs more money to teach students properly. While spending on education has soared, and these schools are still failing their students. Students deserve help now: parents deserve control over where their children attend school so that they can hold schools accountable for results. Ultimately, it is education reform that will lead to equal opportunity and economic prosperity.”

Read the rest of her article here.