's Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reports on the opportunities for black Republicans in the Obama era:

"When former President Jimmy Carter said racism was an underlying factor in attacks on President Obama, it's safe to say he had no intention of boosting Allen West's campaign for Congress in Florida's Broward County."

"But according to West, a retired Army colonel who is running for the second time against Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in Florida's 22nd congressional district, that is exactly what has happened."

" 'Since (Democrats) have thrown out the race card, it has made me more appealing,' says West, one of a small but determined group of black Republicans running for seats in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives in 2010. "Eager to overturn the "conventional wisdom" that the GOP is mainly a white bread party that offers few opportunities for minorities, these black Republicans believe they can attract increasingly agitated conservatives, as well as independents, to make 2010 their year."

Exactly. Just like 2009 has been the Year of Michael Steele, right?