GOP turns to Steele

Michael Steele’s challenge isn’t impossible, just daunting.

The former lieutenant governor of Maryland was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee Friday, the first black to hold that post. Now, he must try to hold on to the conservative base of the party while convincing moderates and independents the party is large enough to serve all of them.

Steele may be the best positioned of any of the crowded slate of candidates who sought the job to do that. He’s more moderate than some of the candidates, such as former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and doesn’t carry the baggage of massive party losses, like incumbent Chairman Mike Duncan. Duncan dropped out Friday after losing votes in the first three rounds of balloting. Steele didn’t win until the fifth round, when he defeated South Carolina Republican Chairman Katon Dawson.

Following his victory, Steele declared, “It’s time for something completely different and we’re gonna bring it to them.”

We hope he does that and helps restore the Republican Party as a strong counterpoint to the Democrats. We have long held that single-party domination — be it Democratic or Republican — doesn’t serve the country well.

To reach his goal, Steele will have to develop a new generation of Republican leaders who
are more pragmatic, true to conservative fiscal principles and less idealogue on social issues.

We wish him the best.


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