It’s hard to argue with results, but that is exactly what Republicans are doing with Party Chairman Michael Steele.
Under Steele the Republicans retook the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey in 2009 and the US House this past November, gained seats in the US Senate and made major gains in State Houses all across the country.
So, why would anyone want to change horses when the one they have now is making great progress?
Well, first let me be so bold as to state the obvious: Michael Steele’s main appeal when he was elected was that he was a Moderate and the Democrats love to tell Republicans only a Moderate can win the Moderate vote. But it sure did not hurt that he is also black. And at the time, Republicans were staggering from seeing Barack Obama elected president and wanted to counter the all white reputation that the party was saddled with after African-Americans voted for Obama almost unanimously. Sort of a “we can elect a black man, too”.
To be fair, Steele was at least as qualified as his more recent predecessors, even more so than a few of them. But, again, his being black was a plus at the time.
But this past election has seen an extraordinary number of exceptional Conservative African-American Republicans elected to a number of different offices, which bodes well for the GOP.
And as it turns out, 2008 was not about race after all. Not really. And 2010 was decidedly about Conservatism and race played absolutely no factor (much to the chagrin of the left wing race-baiters).
And one of the big minuses with Michael Steele is the big spending reputation he has developed during his stay at the top of the RNC. And while the $2,000 of RNC money spent during the strip club incident was hardly his fault, he was tarnished by the incident.
And the Washington Post reported that Steele has already spent on the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa!
Can you say Fiscal Conservative? I didn’t think so.
There is an old, reportedly Irish proverb: If you get a reputation as an early riser you can sleep ’till noon.
Conversely, if you get a reputation as a big spender, you are forever thought of as such, fair or not.
When you add everything up, Steele comes out in the minus column. Perhaps having a black man head the party for a while did some good – it certainty didn’t hurt. But times have again changed. Fiscal Conservatives are in vogue this season and, hopefully, for a long time to come.
Just as Mitt Romney will have a tough time convincing voters his Health Care Program in Massachusetts with it’s mandatory health care purchase is not just like ObamaCare, so will Michael Steele have a tough time convincing the Conservatives he is not a big spender.
The Daily Caller will be hosting a debate between all candidates on January 3, 2011:
The debate will be on Jan. 3 at 1:00pm at the National Press Club and live-streamed at TheDC and RNCDebate.org.
Every declared candidate, including Former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, former Bush administration official Maria Cino, Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus, former RNC political director Gentry Collins and former Missouri committeewoman Ann Wagner, has confirmed his or her attendance.
Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel vowed the debate will be both “fair” and “tough.” It will also be the most “technologically advanced debate ever conducted,” he said.
Audience participation will feature prominently. Questions used during the debate will come from those submitted and voted on at RNCDebate.org.
While the reelection of Michael Steele would not be the worst thing that could happen to the GOP, there are better options to carry the Conservative torch forward into 2012. We will have to see how the debate goes, and which candidates, if any, can pull ahead of Steele.
Hopefully, one or more will give the party a clear reason to move on. Otherwise, Steele will need the support of all Republicans in his next term.