Michael Steele was elected the new chairman of the RNC yesterday. You can see video of his acceptance speech here.
Steele was one of five people seeking the party’s chairmanship. He won on the final ballot 91 to 77. (Katon Dawson, South Carolina’s state GOP chair, was second.)
Steele is an African American, 50 years old, and the former lieutenant governor of Maryland. He grew up in and around the Washington DC area -- but Steele is far from a beltway insider.
Steele is a lawyer. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. He is a Catholic and considered becoming a priest at one time in his life. He is married with two sons.
Listen carefully to his short speech. Steele consistently uses the word "conservative" to describe the GOP. While Steele refers often to conservatism, he refers to the GOP as "this party" (not "the Republican Party") on at least four occasions. He uses the term "Republican Party" only once -- at the very end of the speech. It is almost as if he believes the term "Republican Party" is no longer a term of approbation.
Steele is a strong conservative, a pragmatic and principled politician, and, hopefully, a breath of fresh air for a stagnant GOP.