Michael Steele is running for RNC chair
Maryland's former lieutenant governor Michael Steele announced yesterday at the Republican Governor's Association meeting in Miami that he is running for Republican National Committee Chairman. He expressed interest in the job four years ago, but he's getting a lot more buzz this time from the likes of Sean Hannity. He sent out a statement last night laying out his platform for the job:
“the Republican Party must present a vision for the future of America that relies on our conservative values and core principles. It is wrong to believe the voters have suddenly become liberal. They have just lost any sense of confidence that the Republican Party holds the answers to their problems. We must face the fact that our party has failed in recent years to live up to our own principles -- we have failed to be ‘solutions oriented’ in addressing the concerns of all Americans.”
Steele played up his plans for a grassroots resurgence of the Republican Party. That's surely a stance that plays well with the county leaders, national committeemen and women, etc. who form the backbone of the party and are the people who will choose the next party leader. But it's also one that is probably appealing given the success Barack Obama just had building his own grassroots organization and fund-raising machine.
He also played up some of the views and priorities that made him somewhat atypical as a Republican candidate for public office over the last few years, such as his view that government needs to do more to tackle poverty, drug addiction and other issues more typically associated with Democrats.
“I believe the leadership of our party must come from its grassroots because the members of the RNC are the best representation of what direction our party needs to take. The state chairmen, national committeewomen, and national committeemen are the party leaders who are closest to the voters – they know what the voters want – they talk to them everyday. I have walked a mile in their shoes; without them you become out of touch with the issues that are important to Main Street Americans.”
“I want Republicans to get back to winning elections, not just for the sake of winning, but for the sake of our Country’s future. Most Americans today see a Republican Party that defines itself by what it is against rather than what it is for. We can tell you why public schools aren’t working, but not articulate a compelling vision for how we’ll better educate children. We’re well equipped to rail against tax increases; but can’t begin to explain how we’ll help the poor. The success of our Party’s resurgence will come from the states -- from our local leaders and from our Governors.”
We must articulate a positive vision for America’s future that speaks to Americans’ hopes, concerns and needs. It’s time to stop defining ourselves by what we are not, and tell voters what we believe, how we’ll lead, and where we’ll go … how we Republicans will make America better … how we’ll make their families more prosperous, their children better educated, their parents more secure, and all of us healthier, safer, and stronger. That means we must articulate our vision in the local public square, on TV, on Radio, in the local newspapers, on the internet. With God’s help and the guidance of the men and women who give strength to our Republican National Committee, I am prepared to do just that.”
For more on his plans, check out his new website.