(Cross-posted from America Needs Me)
Big fan of Michael Steele's here. As soon as I found out he was seeking to be Chairman of the Republican National Committee I was on board. I think Steele articulates the conservative vision better than almost any prominent Republican and is exactly the kind of leader the RNC needs. The RNC, along with GOP congressional leadership, has been dropping the ball a lot the last few years and some big changes are warranted.
Steele hit several good points in a conference call this afternoon. The fact that he even held a conference call for bloggers is a sign that he's ready to take the RNC communications strategy into this part of the 21st century. He described current strategy as (paraphrasing) "Waving the Red, White and Blue and saying send us a check!" My experience with RNC in a nutshell. All these years and they still haven't figured out I'm not wealthy.
Stop Whining: It's time to "wipe that dour look off our faces" now that the election is over. I couldn't agree more. The election wasn't a lurch toward liberalism, it was about our failure to lead when given the chance. "Ours is a party whose glass is half full. We've spilled a little along the way," but the outlook isn't all gloom and doom.
Identity Politics: When asked if he'd be in a better place to critique Barack Obama because he's an African-American, Steele said, "It's because I'm an American that I can do that." Bad policies don't have color, according to Steele and should be attacked no matter the race or ethnicity of those making the policy. He feels that the party really mishandled this aspect during the campaign.
Democrat Lite: Steele said that if had wanted to be a member of the Democratic party he would have joined it. He's apparently not interested in leading the party to a permanent seat on the fence.
Party Advocacy: RNC will advocate for GOP leadership as long as they are consistent with the conservative principles of the party.
Do we have a winner yet?
Spending: It's imperative that legislators understand the money they are spending isn't their own. Hated the bailout.
Communications Strategy: Steele said this is a "lock and load" moment for Republicans. He wants to build out a communications operation that encompasses every old and new means. He cited the Obama campaign's brilliance in this area, which is hard to deny. Steele wants to use communication to help decentralize the RNC and make people feel more connected.
Steele also said we should "have some fun" with this. Agreed. New constituents aren't attracted to the angry idiot in the scary house at the end of the block. We have to stop being the "Get off my lawn!" party.
He spoke about staying true to the issues but reworking the way we say things, which I think has been a need for a long time now. It's the reason I first noticed Steele. Politics is marketing and our marketing department has been horrible for years.
Time for a new department head. The RNC doesn't need to promote from within the ranks.
It needs new ranks.