The news is just filtering out that after three votes, former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele has been chosen as the new chairman of the RNC.
If you happen to be a very liberal reader, I’m not saying that you’re going to fall in love with the guy, but I think that the RNC has done a fine job in this selection. Steele has stood against the wheel for election in Maryland, (not exactly a buckle in bible belt social conservatism) and authored some very scholarly work on American politics. As the GOP moves into their wilderness period and seeks a path back to the majority and the White House, Steele may well be a much needed shot in the arm. Here’s a brief breakdown of his background.
A self-described Lincoln Republican. Michael S. Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he became the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland. His experiences as a successful elected conservative African-American Republican and his engaging speaking style have launched Steele into national prominence. His first major exposure was during an appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Current Chairman of GOPAC
National Federal Election Reform Commission
NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform
Law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991
Partner in the international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf
2005 Aspen Institute–Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership
Administrative Board of the Maryland Catholic Conference
Of course, real change will require more than (if you will excuse the phrase) putting a new face on the party. The new Chairman seems to be a serious fiscal conservative, and as the economic situation continues to deteriorate at home, this may well prove a highly salable attribute. Will the party platform change in response to Steele’s leadership? If Steele represents an increased focus on small government, practical conservatism and a bit less hyperbole about abortion and “stopping the godless homos from getting married” then Steele may be the medicine required to get the GOP out of reverse gear. In any event, my congratulations to the new chairman and best of luck in this demanding job.