July 15, 2009
There are any number of reasons to admire Republican National Chairman Michael Steele: He overcame social adversity and skeptical attitudes as he climbed the political ladder and was elected the first African-American lieutenant governor in Maryland's history. He is a forceful, articulate advocate of mainstream conservative principles, exuding sincerity and depth of character. He has worked in the centrist-oriented Republican Leadership Council, and after a lot of hard work and arm-twisting, finally won over enough votes to become elected RNC chairman in January. Now he is busy with fund-raising and pushing the party to broaden its appeal to long-neglected groups such as African-Americans. As part of his "Freedom Tour," he made a speech to the 100th convention of the NAACP, taking place in New York. If the Party of Lincoln could be faithful to its founding principles of emancipation, and enacted public policies that rewarded individual initiative, millions of deprived minorities could live better, happier lives. See the Washington Post.
The black vote may turn out to be decisive in this year's governor's race in Virginia. Last month Larry Sabato noted that even though Virginia has become more moderate and Democratic than it was four years ago, he nonetheless estimates that Deeds' share of the black vote in the recent primary election was 3 or 4 percent less than that of his party's 2005 candidate, Tim Kaine. This points to a huge opportunity for Republicans: "A robust showing this year could be decisive, particularly in Hampton Roads, where McDonnell broke into politics as a member of the House of Delegates, Sabato says." See Richmond Times Dispatch; hat tip to Carl Tate.
One thing Creigh Deeds does have in his favor is access to cold, hard cash; during the month of June his campaign raised twice as much money as Bob McDonnell. See newsleader.com.
As the debate over whether to throw more good money after bad as a follow-up to President Obama's stimulus package rages on in Washington, take a look at what House Minority Leader John Boehner has to say about one of the lesser-known elements of that package at YouTube. $16 million was appropriated to save an endangered rodent found in the in San Francisco Bay area, in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district. Save the Salt Marsh Harvest Mice! Hat tip to Rich Raab.