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It's Steele!

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Former Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele triumphed over four opponents in the race for Republican National Committee chairman Friday, giving the party its first black chairman as well as a forceful communicator at a time of political weakness.

“This is awesome,” Steele told RNC members in a victory speech. “It is with a great deal of humility and a sense of service that I accept and appreciate and thank all of you for the opportunity to serve.”

Steele emerged victorious from a lengthy, six-ballot voting process. Running against him were incumbent RNC Chair Mike Duncan, South Carolina Republican Party Chair Katon Dawson, Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

The Marylander, who entered the race in November, received 46 votes on the first ballot, but gained momentum in later rounds after Duncan faltered on the third ballot and Anuzis withdrew after the fifth. He was declared the winner after collecting 91 votes from a total of 168 on the committee. 

In the last round of voting, Steele faced off against Dawson in a one-on-one contest that pitted Dawson’s insider credentials against Steele’s celebrity profile. 

In past elections, the committee has been reluctant to elect a non-member to the chairmanship. But this year marked a departure from tradition, perhaps indicating the strength of the RNC’s desire for change.


“It’s time for something completely different,” Steele said in his victory speech.

Steele’e emergence as the victor appeared to signal a desire on the committee to distance itself from the eight years of the Bush administration and put forth a new face for the party.

The election of an outsider, however, was not the only respect in which the race was unconventional. Usually a low-profile, inside-the-Beltway affair, the chairman’s race took on an outsized importance for the GOP this year after the party lost the White House and suffered heavy defeats on the congressional level last November.

For a party seeking to define itself in the post-Bush era, the chairman’s election provided a first opportunity to chart a fresh course for the GOP. And throughout the day RNC members emphasized the potentially pivotal nature of the vote.

“This may be the most important decision we ever make as members of the RNC,” Oklahoma Republican Party Chair Gary Jones said in a nominating speech for Blackwell at the beginning of the day.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer was even more emphatic as he delivered a seconding speech for Steele.

“The eyes of the nation today are looking upon us,” he said. “This vote will be the greatest contribution you will have ever made to the Republican Party.”

In the last few weeks the election took a divisive turn as candidates began leveling harsh, below-the radar attacks on each others’ ethics and political track records. Dawson’s past membership in an all-white country club came under assault, as did Steele’s performance as chairman of GOPAC, Blackwell’s experience as secretary of state and Anuzis’s mixed track record winning elections in Michigan.

The election process was the longest in decades, indicating a lack of strong consensus behind any one contender. The last two open chairman’s races, in 1993 and 1997, went to three and five ballots, respectively.

 

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Replies: 726      
avatar for user Florida Centralist
Party: Democrat
Reply #1
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:15 PM EST

It must really suck to be a white supremacist in America. They cant be happy with either side now haha. I love America and all people in it. :)

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default avatar for user OccasionalPoster
Party: Independent
Reply #2
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:18 PM EST

Waddaya know. A moderate minority as head of the RNC.

Hehehehehe...

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default avatar for user The Liberator
Party: Democrat
Reply #3
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:18 PM EST

BOOM !!!!! Limbaugh's head has officially exploded!

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default avatar for user FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Party: Democrat
Reply #4
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:19 PM EST

the Republicans are hysterical aren't they? This is like the Palin insult to women.

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avatar for user HikaruJuno
Party: Democrat
Reply #5
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:20 PM EST

Congrats, Republicans, on electing a minority to head the RNC. You've just taken your first step on looking more inclusive.


"Ain't no party like a Grand Ole' Party"
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default avatar for user RoseD
Party: NA
Reply #6
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:20 PM EST

This is really, really great news. Michael Steele will be awesome! I would really love to see him run for president in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!


Rosalee Dallimore
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default avatar for user Chuy
Party: Democrat
Reply #7
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:20 PM EST

A wolf in sheep's clothing!!!

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avatar for user Lock
Party: Independent
Reply #8
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:20 PM EST

Lefties posting racist photoshopped picture of Michael Steele in 5...4...3...

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avatar for user scire facias
Party: N/A
Reply #9
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:21 PM EST

So does this mean that the RNC is going to be putting out more of those "Magic negro" albums or can we presume that all those racists in the republican party will be shutting the hell up for Mr. Steele's duration?

One can only hope.


"Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1784. FE 4:15, Papers 7:557
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avatar for user Run-DMC08
Party: Independent
Reply #10
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:22 PM EST

The Liberator: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:18 PM EST

Limbaugh's head has officially exploded!

He will play it different in public, but Steele will still be his "Bea-bea"!


Just another reason the Conserv. movement will not grow and continue to shrink!
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default avatar for user RCLGuard
Party: Democrat
Reply #11
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:22 PM EST

Wow, look what you Republican'ts did. You must be so proud of yourselves. Good boy, you're such a good boy aren't you?
Um, didn't we do just this last November.
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avatar for user scire facias
Party: N/A
Reply #12
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:22 PM EST

TeamPolitico: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:11 PM EST

“It’s time for something completely different,” Steele said in his victory speech.

Because that's what the republican party is all about - change.


"Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1784. FE 4:15, Papers 7:557
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default avatar for user The Liberator
Party: Democrat
Reply #13
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:22 PM EST

COME ON GOP, TRYING TO PEEL OF SOME AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS ARE YOU? NOT GONNA WORK, THIS IS

HILARIOUS. HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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default avatar for user PERUVIANMAN
Party: NA
Reply #14
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:22 PM EST

ALRIGHT THEY CALLED RUSH AND RUSH SAID CHOOSE THE TOKEN NEGRO . STEELE WILL BE RUSH TOP LIEUTINANT NOW . SO HE CAN APPEAR AND THE PARTY CAN APPEAR inclusive . we blacks are not fooled. the majority of the repubs still have a perception of racism . it will not go away . steele could not win blacks in his home state of maryland how will he win blacks nationwide. this is still a party of exclusion. the powers that be in the repub party will never follow a black man .

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avatar for user Run-DMC08
Party: Independent
Reply #15
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:23 PM EST

RoseD: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:20 PM EST

would really love to see him run for president in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!

You might, but the base won't!


Just another reason the Conserv. movement will not grow and continue to shrink!
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avatar for user J P Hogan
Party: Independent
Reply #16
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:23 PM EST  updated

Illinois Republicans going back to Lincoln and most other Republicans must be proud and aware of how diverse Bush's cabinet was. Reagan must still be proud, maybe too. I once thought you should have had boat cushions made up for just Maryland boaters with "Buns of Steele" printed upon them, and now think now could be better time. I might even contribute to get one or two, two I would think.

I may stay right of center neutral though as you may know me and now remember me more as I was one of your first 3000 facebook friends and you one of my now 110 fb friends. I may stay right of center media neutral and unbiased like the rest of our media. We won't know if this new Democrat party of "spend and tax" is on a socialist revolution course and should stand clear until we know such and do not get so trapped, right? Right? that until they actually present their full and expansive arguments on who deserves to have to pay for all this "new democrat - spend and tax" we may be walking into a socialism ambush, right? Sure more "socialist' policies are sometimes called for even in America but now? Now while facing increasing recession but more importantly seemingly ten years before we should have even considered such again as such would likely increase dependency, make america soft, and return our cities towards past Democratic Party failed welfare state politics, and, just show Democrats to be bourgeoisie, unh? Can there old formula finally actually work maybe for the first time? I get that Warren Buffett should have paid more in taxes than his secretary and that Bush if he had known 9/11 was coming too would not have voted for tax cuts then, those were time of need and atleast a call for status quo on burden sharing.

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default avatar for user FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Party: Democrat
Reply #17
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:23 PM EST

Do they really think that minorities will vote for republicans because of Mr.Steele. He may be very competent and a good man, just as Gov. Palin is a good speaker of prepared material, but she couldn't get liberal women to vote for her, of course. They just don't learn that the game is up.

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avatar for user Lock
Party: Independent
Reply #18
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:24 PM EST  updated

Just look at those racist moonbats.

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avatar for user Florida Centralist
Party: Democrat
Reply #19
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:25 PM EST

He will be good but I think his name sounds too much like a porn actor to run for President. I think there is a porn actor named Michael Steele.


Wake up and smell the dirty elephant.
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avatar for user Run-DMC08
Party: Independent
Reply #20
Date: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:25 PM EST

Lock: Jan. 30, 2009 - 4:20 PM EST

Lefties posting racist photoshopped picture of Michael Steele

No just you and your kind do that type of thing, He is just another GOP person who won't do much of nothing new.


Just another reason the Conserv. movement will not grow and continue to shrink!
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