Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is It Too Early to Select a VP Nominee?

Robert Stacy McCain offers up a new name for political junkies who must discuss the Republican vice presidential choice before we even get to Super Tuesday. His suggestion though, is an interesting one with some real potential:

I was very impressed with [Michael] Steele's performance on "Meet the Press" in October 2006. Steele ran circles around Ben Cardin, and Steele's subsequent defeat in the Senate race was more attributable to the situation -- running against an anti-GOP tidal wave in an overwhelmingly Democratic state -- than a reflection on Steele's performance as a candidate.

Like Romney, Steele is a "Blue State Republican" who has had to campaign and govern in an environment that is hostile to his conservative values. I've had the opportunity to meet Steele, and can attest that Steele's cheerful, upbeat -- dare I say, Reaganesque? -- conservatism is for real.

Given the current Democratic civil war over race, the selection of Michael Steele could help Republicans make a more serious play for the votes of African Americans than in any election in recent memory. Further, Steele earned a lot of fans among traditional Reagan conservatives, even as he ran a race in one of the most Democratic states in the U.S. In a year when the Republican candidate seems destined to have to work to generate some excitement, Steele would be a very memorable selection.

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