Michael Steele and the Art of Communication

by Mike on November 17, 2008

in Politics

An indispensable part of the Republican National Committee Chairman’s job is communication.  With Michael Steele being the center of attention in this year’s race for RNC chair, it might be helpful to revisit the last time he needed to put a message together, his 2006 Senate race against Ben Cardin.

Steele did not win that election, but it must remembered that he ran the race in one of the country’s most solidly Democrat states during a horrible year for the GOP.  Despite the long odds, Steele ran an effective campaign that forced the Democrats to spend a significant amount of time and money in a state that should have been have theirs without a fight.  One of the reasons Steele was competitive for so long was his series of clever ads.  The following videos are just a couple of examples:

And don’t forget this one.  After Michael Steele came out against federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, Ben Cardin accused him supporting a ban on all stem cell research when in fact Steele supported adult stem cell research, the effective and ethical kind.  The following ad was Steele’s response.

Steele didn’t hold back at all.  After eight years of a President who simply refused to defend himself, our party needs a chairman who isn’t afraid to respond to the other side.  As far as the substance goes, I think the kind of message that doesn’t sell in Maryland is exactly the kind of message we need in Washington D.C.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sal November 18, 2008 at 7:06 am

Wow. That’s a voice that would be very effective at communicating the message. I still do think it may make sense to split the role, so that Steele can concentrate on the message, and someone else the organization. I’m about 80% there on Steele. The only thing that gives me pause at this point is his involvement with the RLC.


Mike November 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Which issues where there is agreement between Steele and the RLC gives you pause?


Sal November 18, 2008 at 5:07 pm

It just gives me pause that Steele was a co-founder of a group (the RLC) whose stated purpose is to minimize the socially-conservative wing of the Republican party, and which is “dedicated to supporting fiscally conservative, socially inclusive Republican candidates at all levels of government.”

Now, there may be a reason why this should not give me pause — I need the facts which I don’t have 100%. All I am saying is I would like to hear Steele’s pitch on how Social Conservatism fits in with the GOP, and how he plans to integrate and communicate the fiscal, national defense, and social concerns of the Conservative movement.


Mike November 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm

You know, I heard one of his rivals may have once had dinner with Olympia Snowe. And another one may have gone to a Nats game with Mel Martinez. Seriously, I think a Republican with conservative views who tries to include moderates in a coalition while remaining a conservative deserves a leadership position. That’s what Reagan did.

I love the conservative blogosphere but the gotcha mentality, witch-hunt style demands for purity and knee jerk reactions really undermine our cause sometimes.


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