“Tribalism is running wild, and it’s growing,” explained Belcher, the former pollster for the Democratic National Committee under then-Chairman Howard Dean. “We should not be surprised that after the election of the first African American that there would be some sort of backlash.”
Okay, so this was not your typical Washington book party — a smile here, a book signed there, free cocktails and idle chitchat. Belcher spoke for about 30 minutes, reading passages from his book, which tracks the history of political race relations in America, and later taking questions from the audience mostly made up of campaign veterans, Democratic Party officials and White House alumni.
“This room looks like America,” Belcher said. “The America that is our destiny.” The pollster then went on to quote W.E.B. DuBois, dismantle the idea of post-racialism, dismiss the possibility of zero-sum games in politics and lay out a plan for “winning the future” while folks stood enthralled with copies of Belcher’s book under their arms. It was more pep rally than book PR pit stop and the crowd, many of whom had been deflated by Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss, left Charlie Palmer Steak a little more puffed up.