Welcome to the game, RNC Chair Michael Steele
Blue-state moderate Michael Steele beat four more hardline GOP candidates Friday to become the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Steele had his moment of fame at the Republican National Convention last year when he coined the "Drill Baby Drill" chant that was taken up by John McCain and Sarah Palin to push for more off-shore drilling.
With both parties now headed by African-Americans in Steele and President Obama, "we may at times find ourselves challenging people who share our color," Sharpton said.
Well, yeah. He’s got some experience in that area
The six Trailways motorcoaches draped in Ehrlich and Steele campaign banners rumbled down Interstate 95 just before dawn on Election Day.
On board, 300 mostly poor African Americans from Philadelphia ate doughnuts, sipped coffee and prepared to spend the day at the Maryland polls. After an early morning greeting from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s wife, Kendel, they would fan out in white vans across Prince George’s County and inner-city Baltimore, armed with thousands of fliers that appeared to be designed to trick black Democrats into voting for the two Republican candidates.
The glossy fliers bore photos of black Democratic leaders on the front. Under the headline "Democratic Sample Ballot" were boxes checked in red for Ehrlich and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele, who were not identified as Republicans. Their names were followed by a long list of local Democratic candidates.
Ehrlich and Steele had already done much the same thing four years earlier
About 250 recruits, drawn by the promise of free meals and a day’s pay, participated in what one recruit later called a "scam from the start." The students didn’t get their meals, and they didn’t get paid. The homeless recruits also weren’t paid, and, that night, the van that had taken them at dawn to Prince George’s County and was supposed to transport them back to Washington, D.C. never showed up.
Some of the homeless workers reportedly staged a protest that night in front of the Democrats for Ehrlich headquarters in New Carrollton, Maryland. The next day, they enlisted legal help from the homeless center to get the money they had been promised. But the protest had alerted the state prosecutor, and when one of Ehrlich’s campaign workers finally showed up with the money, investigators were on hand to witness the homeless recruits being paid.
So how did the RNC Chairman explain running for office as a Democrat?
MR. RUSSERT: What about Steele Republican? Do you have a sticker like that?
LT. GOV. STEELE: Yeah, well, we don’t have that sticker because…
MR. RUSSERT: Because you said the R on — is a…
LT. GOV. STEELE: That’s not a bad idea, actually. Maybe we should get some of those made up.
That’s not a bad idea. I didn’t think of that.
MR. RUSSERT: You said, you said the R is a scarlet letter and that if this is a choice between Democrats and Republicans, you lose.
LT. GOV. STEELE: Absolutely, Tim.
TEXT: “I’ve got an ‘R’ here, a scarlet letter. … If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose.”
— Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R-MD)
July 25, 2006
LT. GOV. STEELE: Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s exactly what Ben Cardin wants this race to be about. That’s exactly what the Democrats want this race to be about. Because when this race is about Democrats and Republicans in a state like Maryland, which is two to one, all they have to say is “The boogeyman’s Republican and all you guys remember, you’ve got to vote for us D’s.” What I’m trying to do is break through that noise and say I represent something different. I represent, represent, I think, a different challenge for my state and for my country.
See? The Chairman of the RNC says that he had to run as a Democrat, because if voters knew he was a Republican they wouldn’t vote for him.
That wasn’t his only strategy, though.
This is a flyer which was posted in Baltimore right before the election which brought Ehrlich/Steele into office.
November 6 wasn’t, parenthetically, election day.
Steele quick hits:
the R is the Scarlet Letter thing (see homeless incident above)
and my personal favorite, ever: Michael Steele is a member of the NBRA, Jeb Bush’s sockpuppet political group which claims Obama’s election means that white people are officially off the hook for any and all acts of racism since the founding of the United States
But all that to the side, Steele has a game plan
Still, Steele offered a hopeful message to Republicans and pledged to help the GOP win elections. “That’s part of my job to lay that foundation so the people can being to trust again in your leadership and to help you achieve the goals that you set a caucus,” he said.
And truly, if he can manage to keep inner city voters away from the polls and convince everyone else that the Republican candidates are really Democrats, he’s home free.
Think of it as a Republican full employment for the homeless program.