Gingrich or Steele at RNC?

Cross-posted at

It now seems clear that Mike Duncan will not be returning as Chairman of the RNC. So the question becomes, who would best represent the new face of the Republican Party? According to various sources there are two people currently vying behind the scenes to take the post, Newt Gingrich and Michael Steele. Both men have a lot to offer and the RNC members will undoubtedly carefully consider each man and what he brings to the table. However, in the end the better choice for the future of the conservative movement would be Steele.

Aside from being a quality conservative who has spoken of the party as an open tent, and being someone who has said the the Rockefeller Republicans need to be welcomed back into the center of the Party, what Steele has to offer is an inspiring life story: childhood in a poor section of Washington; college at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore; then three years studying for the priesthood at a monastery, before deciding that his call lay elsewhere. His mother earned minimum wage working in a laundry; his stepfather drove a limo. His parents weren't educated themselves, but they valued learning. This is the kind of up-from-your-bootstraps story that Republicans should honor.

Gingrich on the other hand unfortunately represents what has become the republican stereotype. Don't get me wrong; I highly respect him and feel that the Contract for America was a stroke of genius. There may be no other person in the Party today with the wealth of ideas that Gingrich brings. However, there is simply too much baggage there. Too many Americans remember him as the polarizing figure of the 90's for him to be an effective outreach agent today. He needs a seat at the table; anyone with his depth of knowledge and commitment to the conservative movement does. But he would not be the best choice as the face of the Party.

If the Republican Party is going to capitalize on the fact that this is still a center right nation, it needs to turn the page on the past and create new solutions for a new era. Steele, who has criticized the GOP for not doing enough to reach out to minorities, says times have changed and the party needs to adapt. But he said the one thing it can't do is change its principles.

"Our challenge lies not in beating Democrats, but in uniting around a message that solidifies our ranks and attracts new people to our cause. We have to listen to what Americans are telling us about their hopes, desires and needs, and then translate that message into proposals for meaningful action squarely grounded in values we Republicans have always stood for."

 Cross-posted at

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"they could do no worse"

They could do worse than select Michael Steele to lead them.

That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Steele! I do understand that you actually meant "do no better", but it was still kind of funny  ;)

In all seriousness, I would like to see a discussion of Steele's qualifications. It's curious that Newt's qualifications are always mentioned and then dismissed, but Steele gets a free pass.


Thanks...I missed that!