Some folks over at Red State are hoping Mike Steele, 10 point loser in the Maryland Senate race, will become head of the RNC.
This is hilarious to me. I consistently hear people saying that Steele ran a great campaign, that Steele was the embodiment of conservatism. None of this is true of course. Well, his campaign was certainly interesting. I can't call it the best, because he lost rather badly. Steele also ran one of the most blatant "Democratic-lite" campaigns of the year. Numerous examples of Steele's run to the left and his attempts to claim status as a Democrat were evident throughout this campaign. From the "Steele Democrat" signs, to the "Ehrlich/Steele Democratic Voters Guide", to the lies about endorsements from Kweisi Mfume, it is clear that Steele ran anything but a campaign based on "conservative principles."
Running as Republican-Lite doesn't work for Democrats, and the inverse does not work for Republicans. The much reported "Conservative Democrats" such as Webb and Tester are not in the Steele mold. Webb and Tester never abandoned the Democratic label. They believe in, and ran on solidly Democratic principles, such as the minimum wage, the environment, health care, and opposition to flagrant use of our military power. Steele tried to run on traditionally Democratic values, and often on issues that he, as a senator, would have little control over. Senators have little control over Baltimore crime, recidivism rates, and city schools. In the end, Steele really didn't run on much, other than his race and his "outsider" status. And this is man Republicans want to be running their party?
Well, I think they should go for it. If the Maryland Senate race wasn't enough to teach Republicans the lesson that voters are intelligent, and that voters will vote in their best interest based on the issues, and not on race, than I am not sure they will ever learn. Michael Steele will be perceived by many as a move towards the left for the RNC. While this perception would be wrong, it would certainly cause a schism in the party, much larger than the one in the Democratic party over Howard Dean.
Either way it will be interesting to watch what Republicans decide to do with the RNC. Steele was head of Republican Party in Maryland for 20 years, and we all see how well things worked out for Republicans in Maryland.
I believe the Steele's leadership at the RNC would be a great asset, to the Democratic party that is.