CNN HOST: And finally here Ben, final point, we are looking here at a new congress that will be sworn in tomorrow and it is a dramatically different looking congress, much more diverse, you’ve got Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) of South Carolina getting a nod from the Tea Party… we are seeing a more diverse party, if you will. Does that give you any more optimisim or hope that this is the kind of group that your organization can work with, in terms of promoting your own agenda for job opportunities and leveling the playing field?
Benjamin Jealous: You know, for us it’s always about what’s in folk’s hearts. We have people like Congressman Cohen out of Memphis, white congressman, who gets an “A” on our report card, And we have congressman like Senator Tim Scott, who is black, gets an “F” on the report card every year. When I look at Senator Scott, I’m very glad that going into the 150th celebration, if you will, of the emancipation proclamation we can now say that we have one black senator, given that we are 12 percent of the population we should probably have 10 But when I look at him, I say quite frankly as one of my old coaches would say about me at a sport I wasn’t so good at, he has nothing but potential. There is nothing but room for him to improve, and we would hope that he would not continue to get “F’s” on the NAACP report card
CNN HOST: Is that because he is a Republican man or what is behind that?
Benjamin Jealous: No, look we have Republicans who believe in civil rights. Unfortunately he is not one of them. And unfortunately his party has really gone after so-called “RINOS” as they call them, these Republicans who believe in civil rights again and again. So for instance you take on Senator Specter who was there until very recently. he was very good on same sorts of justice issues that i was talking about, so there is an opportunity here for him to live up have this be the party of Lincoln, the party of Frederick Douglas, the party of Colin Powell the party of Jack Kemp. The party of even Arlen Specter.