Friday, November 10, 2006

Mehlman Out, Steele In

Heard about it this afternoon, but just now saw it confirmed. Ken Mehlman has stepped aside, to be replaced by Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

So, this man is now the head of the Republican National Committee.

Too bad he lost for Maryland Senate, but I'm glad he's in this role for the next two years to take on Howard Dean.

But remember, the GOP has no diversity at all.


paul zummo said...

Well this is the first bit of good news I have heard in a while. Steele's an excellent choice, both politically and substantively. So Maryland's loss is the nation's gain.

Of course, let the first "token" chatter begin. If I was masochistic enough to read Kos or Dimwit Underground I'd check to see what they're saying.

On the same note, my -ex is writing e-mails about how Pelosi will be attacked only because she's a woman. Yeah, because it's only the right that makes gender and racial based attacks.

Big Daddy Jeff said...

Paul, what are your thoughts on Steele? Obviously, I know you supported him strongly for Senate. But I've heard more about his character than his specific positions?

Does this represent a GOP move to the center (race aside, but also if you consider that, it doesn't exactly hurt the point as well), following Bush's Wed press conference and the firing of Rummy? That's the way I see it. Not that Steele is left of center, but he sounded much more of a moderate on issues like Iraq, minimum wage, health care, etc than his predeccesor Mehlman who was a mouthpiece for the Rove/Cheney direction the administration had been stuck to for so long. Curious for your thoughts?

paul zummo said...

Jeff - I'll put it you this way: If I was that gung-ho about him, how "moderate" or "centrist" do you think he is? He's expressed reservations about the conduct of the war (like almost everyone else), but he's firmly pro-war. He's solidly culturally conservative, and he's not exactly an economic redistributionist. He has taken more moderate stances on issues like the minimum wage, as you said, but I suspect that he and Newt would have little to disagree about.

So, long story short, this definitely is not a move to the center for, when all is said and done, he's still decidedly to the right of our President.

Big Daddy Jeff said...

Good point. I like the selection of Steele myself. I do find it interesting though. Remember about 3-4 mos ago when Steele was exposed to be the anonymous Republican Senate candidate who was quoted as saying he didn't want the president around his campaign? The media had a field day with that a la Charlie Crist's snub the day before the election. And it helped reinforce the perception of Bush as a loser and as weak - which I've been arguing is reality for years now. But regardless, Mehlman was a handpicked White House guy who they put in charge of the RNC to be Rove's guy. Now an outsider who distanced himself from Bush is given the reigns. Quite a change. And I give Bush credit. It's obvious that he's moving away from Rove/Cheney. Too bad he didn't do so about 4 years ago. Actually, I think Laura Bush might be the biggest advisor these last 2 years a la Nancy Reagan.

Anonymous said...

This addition is still not enough (smiles).

Francase said...

It's a start. And he'll be a much more forceful and independent personality than Mehlman was.

paul zummo said...

Well, so much for Steele being the new chief.