The new face of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is a black woman.
Trump, the frontrunner among Republican candidates in most national polls, has hired Tea Party loyalist Katrina Pierson as his high-profile surrogate. Pierson will appear frequently on national television news programs and she will become more universally recognized as Trump’s defender and, on occasion, perhaps even his translator on issues involving race.
At a time when few Republican candidates have visible Black media representatives, Trump has enlisted the media services of Pierson, an outspoken African-American who is known as a tough-talking conservative with a sophisticated presence.
Her critics, however, have told reporters that Pierson relishes the spotlight a bit too much and is driven by her own personal agenda. Some say her plans to start her own shoe and clothing line is a good example.
In hiring Pierson, Trump may be sending a not-so-subtle message that he supports women in key leadership roles – to generate votes from women – and that he’s comfortable with a Black spokeswoman – perhaps a nod to African-American voters.
“When Donald says, ‘I think you’re great, I really want you to work for me,’ I don’t think any sane person would say no to that,” Pierson said.
Well, that’s debatable.
But I do know this: Black voters will not suddenly rush to rally around Trump’s candidacy simply because he’s hired a Black woman in a top job. But I’m sure Pierson is hoping to persuade some other Black conservatives to throw their support behind Trump. Pierson once worked for Sen. Ted Cruz, another GOP presidential candidate who is lagging in the polls.
“Cruz would be a good president, but I think right now…Trump would be the better person to transition out of Obama,” she told POLITICO.
Pierson’s background isn’t what you’d expect from a Tea Party advocate and conservative Republican. She had a challenging upbringing. Her mother was just 15 years old when Pierson was born and they lived on welfare. Pierson also had a child at a young age and when her marriage ended in divorce, she became a single mother. But she overcame the obstacles, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology. She says she voted for Barack Obama in 2008.