Saturday, December 20, 2008

Steele for a Reason, but let's keep everything under control

I have been very upfront with the fact that I am supporting Michael Steele for RNC Chairman. And not just because he's a Maryland guy, but because I think he brings the best credentials and experience to the ticket.

That's not to say that others would do a bad job, but all of the other candidates give me pause:

  • Saul Anuzis is probably leading the way in trying to integrate technology into the campaign infrastructure, and that is something that we need. However, we are conservatives and results to matter, and Michigan was a trainwreck for Republicans in 2008.
  • Ken Blackwell has reasonable conservative credentials, despite his Charterite past. But he too has a results problem, getting blown out of the watter in a competitive state in 2006. Not a great year for the GOP, but even Michael Steele performed better in a deeper blue state.
  • Katon Dawson is a conservative and has done a good job, but it's a lot different working across a broad purple nation than it is being the Chairman in South Carolina.
  • And I still believe that Chip Saltsman is a stalking horse for Mike Huckabee and his social conservative/big government liberal fusion wing of the party.
As I have said before, all of these guys would do well. Just that Steele is above and beyond the most qualified candidate in the race due to his experience and yes his results. But as I noted yesterday, this campaign in certain aspects is getting to look like the Presidential Primaries in that some people are tearing down candidates rather than build cases for their own. I had the chief blogger for Ken Blackwell's 2006 campaign make some comments on my blog yesterday that had more to do with bashing Steele than it did with defending Blackwell.

Regardless of who wins, we as Republicans and activists are going to need to work with our new Chairman. So I think everybody needs to take a step back, breathe, and try not to dish out any more rabbit punches...



G. A. Harrison said...

Your point is valid only as to the undiplomatic rhetoric of the commenter. Blackwell's "liberal" past is over 25 years ago. Steele's aversion to taking a firm, consistent stand seems far more recent.

As for Anuzis, blaming him for loses in Michigan is akin to blaming Steele for the GOP's dismal performance during his stint as party chairman. Do you honestly think Ronald Reagan could have won Michigan in 2008 after the disgraceful record of the Bush administration and a GOP controlled Congress prior to 2006?

I'm not sure who the best candidate is yet. I'm going to wait until at least the January 5th debate to make up my mind. While I think Dawson will be an also ran, we're still going to have a battle between Duncan, Anuzis, Blackwell, and Steele. My biggest concern is that it not be Duncan.

Chester Peake said...

Well said, Brian.

Although it should be noted that not all social conservatives are for big government, some are also fiscal/small government conservatives as well.

We definitely need to stop the circular firing squad, and work with whomever is chosen. I hope that is someone who is conservative, and can convincingly communicate those ideals that we have walked away from. I think that is Steele, but would be willing to consider the others if they measure up.

Brian Griffiths said...

As for Anuzis, blaming him for loses in Michigan is akin to blaming Steele for the GOP's dismal performance during his stint as party chairman.

Steele? Dismal? We picked up seats in the General Assembly and won the Governor's Mansion for the first time in thirty-six years under his tenure....hardly dismal.

The Waterman said...

While I can see the point with regards to Anuzis and Michigan, how much of the blame is his, and how much is a combination of the pre-conditions noted by G.A. Harrison along with McCain's disastrously run campaign, particularly the highly visible choice to pull out of the state (rather than at least quietly reallocate the resources)?

G. A. Harrison said...

C'Mon Brian. While I give Steele a lot of credit, winning the Governor's mansion was a perfect storm of a good candidate opposed by a horrifically poor Dem candidate. We saw what happened four years later. Do you think that was Pelura's fault?

If you honestly believe that the party chair is responsible for victory or loss then perhaps we know why the MDGOP is such an also ran. The state party is just part of the picture.

Look at Virginia. Virginia Republican chucked a good man, John Hager, because they thought a younger, more conservative chairman would deliver victory. Result? A Dem takes Virginia's electoral votes for the first time since 1964. While Jeff Frederick's arrogance may prove to be a long term problem, it was ridiculous to blame him for the loss.

McCainiacNYC said...


0 for 2

Four years later, John Kane, not Jim Pelura was chair of the mdgop.