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The Star-Spanglish Banner

Ben Smith notes that the infamous Paul Shanklin CD that Republican National Committee chairman candidate Chip Saltsman sent around to committee members — the “magic negro” CD — also includes “The Star-Spanglish Banner.” The joke lyrics, sung by a chorus of “Mexicans,” are all about illegal immigrants replacing Old Glory with the Mexican flag.

Why hasn’t this gotten more attention? Probably because the “magic negro” scandal ended Saltsman’s chances for winning the top RNC job a month ago, and going into tomorrow’s vote Saltsman probably won’t even get enough support to make the ballot. This isn’t all because of the substance of the “magic negro” song. The bigger problem, for Republicans, was how Saltsman fumbled a three-day response to the story — defending it, and talking about how Shanklin was a close friend, and blaming the media for blowing it up, and then sort of apologizing.

When I talked to Saltsman earlier this month, he blamed the whole controversy on media boredom during a slow news week. The thought of Saltsman applying these messaging skills to the high-profile job of RNC chair was what really throttled his chances among Republican activists. As one reporter who tangled with Saltsman when he worked for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign told me, “Chip Saltsman’s problem is that he’s Chip Saltsman.”

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