Michael Steele: The Republican Party Does the Right Thing

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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.

Sarah Palin

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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.