National Republicans have a new chairman. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was elected chairman of the national committee — and becomes the party’s first African-American leader. Steele’s selection clearly signals a party that has been drubbed in two successive national elections (2006, ’08) is seeking new direction, new inspiration and a different public face.
Steele is a polished speaker who is conservative enough to appeal to the party’s base and moderate enough to broaden it. He has been a frequent guest on Fox News and other cable networks and should be an effective communicator for the party as it tries to counter the Obama administration and the Democratic majority on national issues.
Steele told the national committeemen and state party chairmen who elected him he can’t bring the GOP back to majority status alone. He’s got a tough job ahead with the party losing the White House last year and seeing its numbers in Congress shrink.