Sat, 31 Jan 2009 03:03:03 +0000 – [caption id="attachment_6530" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Michael Steele (AP photo)"][/caption]
In electing Michael Steele as the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the Grand Old Party has demonstrated a capacity for renewal and revival. After today, no fair-minded observer can believe the stereotype of the Republicans as the party of old white men.
In selecting Steele, Republicans have chosen a man who will go toe to toe with the Democrats on all issues, personal and political.That stereotype has always been bogus, as Sarah Palin demonstrated as recently as last summer.
[caption id="attachment_4491" align="aligncenter" width="253" caption="Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign event in Dover, N.H., Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)"][/caption]
In addition, the election, two years ago, of Bobby Jindal as the Republican governor of Louisiana, and then the victory of Joseph Cao as a Republican representative from the same state, further undermined that bad-rap stereotype. Jindal, of course, is Indian-American, and Cao is Vietnamese-American. And Steele is African-American.
All of the candidates for Friday's RNC election were talented and able, but in selecting Steele, Republicans have chosen a man who will go toe to toe with the Democrats on all issues, personal and political. If there are questions are about overcoming challenges, adversity--and yes, discrimination--Steele can speak with authority and effectiveness.
And yet he can also speak with optimism and faith: optimism about the basic goodness of Americans and the good purposes of America, and faith that our best days are ahead of us--all of us, together. That's been the Republicans' special strength over the past few decades, since the Reagan era, and Steele, a polished performer with a strong background in policy as well as politics, will honor that great tradition.
Yes, Republicans were beaten badly last November but they are on the comeback trail. Stay tuned.
James P. Pinkerton is a Fox News contributor. He worked in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He is also the editor of CureStrategy.org.