More fun with Michael Steele

At the 2009 Republican Jewish Coalition winter leadership meeting in Fort Lauderdale, I had the pleasure of once again seeing Michael Steele.

I initially met and interviewed Michael Steele at the 2008 GOP Convention in Minnesota. At the time he was the head of GOPAC, and running to be the head of the Republican National Committee. Thankfully for Republicans everywhere, he is now heading the RNC.

His job at this conference was to rally the troops. Consider us rallied. I make no bones about it. I love this guy. He is a born glad hander. He oozes likability.Yet unlike many others who do so, he is actually sincere.

He got the crowd in Florida off to a great start from his opening words, and like the Energizer Bunny, kept on going.

“You all look tanned, rested, and ready. How is my tan coming along?”

“In this room, I am more than a Chairman. I am a friend.”

“I see Senator Norm Coleman in the room. Whatever baggage exists at the end of the Coleman race, I promise you that the party will be there for him.”

“I have a great, personal, and deep relationship with the Jewish people. I can identify given my history.”

“We must get back to first principles…restrained government, personal responsibility, freedom, and liberty.”

“I bet Thomas Jefferson is looking and thinking, ‘How did a brotha wind up in my office?’ Now he must be wondering how two brothas reached high office in both political parties, the one in power and the loyal opposition.”

“People keep talking about the future. The future will be right if we get it done right now. The present is what we must get right.”

“The past was 1994. Then we caught Potomac Fever. We spent and spent. Over 12 years we stepped away from our first principles.”

“Now, picture a Republican and a Democrat walking down the street. They both see a homeless person. The Republican gives the homeless person his business card and says, ‘See me Monday.’ The Republican takes $20 out of his pocket, and tells the man to get himself ready, and to absolutely see him on Monday for an interview. The Democrat hands the homeless person the number for the local welfare office. Also, after seeing the wonderful example of the Republican, the Democrat reaches into the Republican’s pocket, takes $50, and gives it to the homeless man as well in the name of compassion.”

“Liberals call this stimulus. We call it devaluing the individual and wealth redistribution.”

“They are gleefully planning downward mobility. That is not the GOP vision.”

“My mom didn’t take welfare because she didn’t want the government raising her children. That is why I am a Republican.”

“My mother Mabel was not rich in money, but she was rich in character and purpose. She would find a way. There are many Mabels out there.”

“Attitude starts the ball rolling. We need a complete overhaul of our tactics. We need to take our heads out of the sand, stop blaming, stop whining, and stop picking on each other.”

“Democrats are looking for scapegoats, and we sign up. Not under my leadership! Those days are over!”

“Believe you me, I’ve learned my lessons. I’ve learned lessons in the last few weeks.”

“Liberals want to change America. The GOP wants to keep it the strongest and freest nation in the world.”

After a standing ovation, Chairman Steele took some questions. I asked my question in my own way, to the amusement of the Chairman and the crowd. No, I did not ask if Democrats were bigoted against the follically challenged. This was not the time and place.

“Chairman Steele, I live in the People’s Republic of California. I live there for the weather, which is the only thing the liberals in my state have not yet taxed. It seems every six years Barbara Boxer is beatable, but the national party does not give her opponents any money. Is the Republican National Committee going to give GOP Candidate Chuck Devore the money to compete, or is California going to be conceded again? Will you help defeat Barbara Boxer and commit the funds needed to do it?”

As expected, Chairman Steele did not miss a beat.

“We are not conceding anything. We will compete everywhere, including California. I live in the People’s Republic of Maryland, and there they actually have found ways to tax the sea and the air.

Come to Maryland. We have Roscoe Bartlett, and we also have Connie Morella. They are both good Republicans, although very different. What works for the constituents of Roscoe Bartlett might not work for the constituents of Connie Morella, who have different needs.

We need candidates out of the neighborhoods. We need to stop trying to manufacture candidates. That is a losing strategy.

Picture the four people on this stage. Guy number one is from the West. He wears his hat to the side, because that is how they do it on the West Coast. The second guy is from the Midwest. He wears his hat to the other side, because that is how they do it in the Midwest. The third guy is from the South, and they wear their hats forwards. I am the fourth guy, and I wear my hat backwards, because on the East Coast, that is how we roll.

We are all wearing the same hat. We are just wearing it differently. I am part of your family, the GOP. Core principles matter, the rest is details. We take care of everybody in our family.”

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I love the guy.

Another questioner asked about what can be done to win over moderate GOP women. Chairman Steele was prepared.

“I don’t do teas and coffees. I work. I want workers. The most phenomenal workers are the women. They get it done every time.

Look at Sarah Palin. They tried to destroy her. Appealing to the women involves knowing who our friends are. We need to stop running to the New York Times. If we have problems, we must handle them inward. The other side wants to talk about her clothing. We need to talk about their policies.”

After a lengthy standing ovation, I had an opportunity to meet the Chairman again. At that moment I told him that I had met him at the GOP Convention, and that I was the blogger that asked him if Democrats were bigoted against the follically challenged. He laughed and again patted his head.

I also told the Chairman that “I don’t mind a black President. I just want one with an ounce of substance, like you perhaps.” That elicited more laughter.

I made one other remark that truly got to Steele’s funny bone. “Mr. Chairman, so many liberals say they are proud to have a black President, but they get their information from NPR and do not own a television. How do they even know he is black? Isn’t that racial profiling? I thought they were against that.”

The last thing I brought up was, “Chairman Steele, did you know that Barack Obama is a world class athlete? He can jump 20 feet in the air and reach his nose.”

The Chairman responded, “You’ve got schtick man. You’re a funny guy.”

Like Chairman Steele, I do possess humor. However, like Chairman Steele, beneath the schtick is a seriousness of purpose. There is a job to do.

Luckily the Republican Party has picked the right man for the job. Leaders have to inspire. Michael Steele definitely does that very well.


12 Responses to “More fun with Michael Steele”

  1. Dav Lev says:

    Norm Coleman is in trouble and if he loses, we are all in trouble.
    Cantor and Steele are two shining stars in the new Republican Party,
    which is reaching out to those of US who cannot stand the direction
    the liberal, leftist, tax and spenders to a fault Democrats are going.

    I voted for Bill Clinton and sort of liked him. I voted for Bush and Cheney
    who, I believe saved US from a calamty beyond description. What is little known is that prior to the invasion of Iraq, a major study confirmed that
    toxic agents ( anthrax, small pox, etc.) distributed on the East Coast,
    would kill over 1 million people within a few months, AND WE HAD NO

    The Republican Party understood the consequences of what we are witnessing now WITH the retreat, defeat, peace at any price, “Engage”,
    “Talk” policies of the joker and his minions in the White House. I mean
    he cannot even predict basketball winners with any success.

    I say this, thank G-d for the Republicans and Bush/Cheney.

    More to the point, Mr. Steele would help our cause by advocating
    the policies of Israel’s newly elected Prime Minister and his right wing
    coalition. Israel has really made a change for the better, have we?

    They are: no two state solution to the 100 year old conflict outside
    the US “Road Map”. That means simply, by deeds and not words,
    the Palestinians (both Hamas and Fatah) must decry violence and terrorism, educate their children to accept we Jews as people who have a homeland in Israel, abide by prior Israeli-PLO agreements (not just
    respect-abide means abide), stop the double talk which pervades Palestinian rhetoric, adhere to UNSC resolutions regarding the return of Arabs to Israel (only if both sides agree), allow Jerusalem to remain united as it always was, and prevent Iran or any other Arab country from
    possessing enriched fissionable uranium highly concentrated to make atomic bombs.

    I would also ask him to condemn the latest hate Israel editorial in the
    liberal, leftist, socialist, New York Times which sells out Israel by warning
    them not to have their supportes in the US petition our government for
    Israel’s benefit and refrain from attacking Iran even if it means
    its own doom.

    Mr. Steele can go along way to get more Jewish and right thinking
    Christian support, by simply saying, “I support the free, democratic,
    country which is fighting the US fight and whose G-d is the G-d of the
    Jews and Christians.

    And it just might encourage more of us to support the Republican Party
    in a real, concrete way..but we need motivation.

    Personally, I saw through Obama 2 years ago..and his wiseguy advisers.
    I am for less government, less taxaction, more private iniative with
    some regulations (to avoid AIG) and a strong US which cares about US FIRST..(who cares what Chavez, Jong, Assad, Ahmad and that
    bozo Moon think anyway. Do you?)

  2. Limbaugh was right about one thing when it came to Steele – he’s got to get beyond just cheerleading and get to the serious business of rebuilding a national grassroots. His example of Barlett and Morella and the hats is right on the money. The GOP has been mass manfacturing candidiates and not growing them from the grassroots – worse yet, they’ve been literally pulling them out of nowhere and then just writing the party shick on the blank slates – like Palin. This strategy works to a point, but now the GOP is stuck with the inevitable consequence of becoming a regional party, the way the Dems became for so many years prior. If you look at the last presidential electoral map, you’ll note that the GOP can’t win in the cities, have lost much of the suburbs, and much of the midwest, the coastal South, the and much of the Southeast and Southwest. They have become the party of the old Confederacy and Mountain West – and barely even that. This is similar to what happened to the Dems when for many years they lost all but the West Coast and the Northeast. The GOP has to find a way to widen it’s tent.

    The knock on the GOP on the Hill (who’s poll numbers are even lower than the Hill as a whole), lately, was that they were light on details as an opposition party. Finally, the House GOP put out a more substantive budget proposal this week, only to have it look exactly like the same old budgets they’ve been pushing for the past 30 years. Nothing new at all. Massive tax cuts for the rich offset by massive tax increases for people making 50-100K, cuts on social programs in the middle of a severe recession, etc, etc. This is not going to win them anything or anyone save for the rich and the idiotic.

    Steele had better start trying to figure out a way to build a broader coalition, broaden the partisan ideological requisites, and start raising candidates from the grassroots instead of the party machine, or they’re going to wind up in the political woods for a long, long time to come. Say what you will about constitutionalist libertarians like Ron Paul, or hardcore realists like Bartlett, but these guys have huge grassroots appeal. Just putting out slicksters like Romney, or vacuus pretty faces like Palin, or hardcore neocons like Cantor, or pandering cowboys like Ted Poe, is just not going to cut it nationally. You guys have got to find people of genuine substance and beliefs.


  3. Dan Lev, Coleman is done. Forget about him. Iraq was never a threat to us, so if you keep that up, “you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.” All this insanity about God and endless, poinltess war is also just going to make you guys look out of touch and loony.


  4. Micky 2 says:

    “Iraq was never a threat to us, so if you keep that up, “you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.”

    Yea well, as many times as been told to you that a possible threat from Iraq isnt what it was all really about anyway uoi still keep repeating the same stupid line making a false argument at the same time.
    Anyone who can think at more than one level has already realized that there were mutiple reasons for going in.
    What really sucks for you nay sayesr is that it worked.
    And please, spare me the repeated regurgitated crap rhetoric about how it was a mistake that was screwed up for a while, just like blaming Bush for everything thats dead and you cant get away with it any longer because Iraq was a success and in the end thats what matters.

    “All this insanity about God and endless, poinltess war is also just going to make you guys look out of touch and loony.”

    You’d do well to improve your own image if you held a little more respect for the faithful.
    They’re the kind of people that tolerate your nastiness and then pull you outta the gutter when you would least expect it.
    The truly spiritual and not the monsters I know you’re just aching to refer to are not examples of what these people really are who hold a set of values not comprable to yours.

    “out of touch and loony.”

    Trust me, you’re not the epitome of sanity yourself

    “or they’re going to wind up in the political woods for a long, long time to come. ”

    The way Obama is going right now hes doin much of the work for us.
    Come next election were gonna have so much ammo its not even gonna be funny.
    On one hand I’m scared to death what this moron is gonna do to this country and on the other hand I cant stop laughing at the gift that keeps on givin.

    “You guys have got to find people of genuine substance and beliefs.

    Pot, meet kettle

  5. Micky, I don’t have any problem with faith as long as you don’t base serious decisions on it. Otherwise, faith is dangerously stupid.

    Obama’s popularity is just fine, and the GOP’s numbers on the Hill are lower than the Dems. You guys have only one thing going for you – you left the country such a mess, all you have to do is wait until people forgot how we got there and then trick them back into making the same mistakes again.

    As for Iraq, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who thinks that fiasco was worth the cost is insanely deluded.


  6. Micky 2 says:

    Nothing new at all. Massive tax cuts for the rich offset by massive tax increases for people making 50-100K, cuts on social programs in the middle of a severe recession, etc, etc. ”

    This “Nothing new at all” budget proposal is right in line with what Steele said we need to do and that is to return to what works and at the same time represents core conservative values.
    The core principle values of conservatism is fiscal responsibility , to promote the market/capitalism and what better way than to give businesses that actually make jobs and incomes tax leverage so they can grow and do more of the same. Even Barney Frank said it this weekend that its the private sector that makes 70% of the jobs products and income in this country yet with this knowledge they still turn around and support budgets that do none of that.
    As far as your crying about cutting social programs goes, that’s exactly what needs to be done. FDR gave the country massive unemployment insurance and what happened was nobody wanted to go to work, they just sat on their a$$es and collected other peoples money. consequently things only got worse. Cons can look back at the mistakes made in similar situations and not make them again (real cons) so dont go whining about the cons weve seen in the last couple of decades, they don’t count.

    Obamas numbers are not “just fine”. They’ve been tanking for months now.
    According to Gallup he’s only up 1% today after going from last months favor ability ratings of 78% down to this month at 68%
    Less than half the country approves of how he’s handling the economy.
    That’s down also from what it was a month ago. The over all view of how he’s handling the budget is down from last month also.
    I chose to go with Gallup instead of Rasamussen this time so you cant say I’m just looking at numbers from a conservatively bias poll.

    As far as the GOP on the hill goes, last week (mind you, the poll below is almost 2 weeks old) according to Rasmussen for the first time in 3 1/2 years the GOP has passed the Dems in popularity and according to Gallup the trend is headed in that direction also.
    So you might want stick yer chest back in their buddy.
    Both the pres and the hill are not doing itself any favors lately with the list of crap that’s going on.
    “Both the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress are more popular now than they were last December. While still quite low at 36%, the approval rating for Republicans is up significantly from December. ”
    Since then (2 weeks ago) those numbers for the dems have declined significantly.
    People are NOT happy with the spending, they are not happy with all the antics, they are not happy with the administrations inability to get anything done without a major event taking place in the middle of it from language being allowed in the stimulus to the amount of spending and pork to the numerous tax cheats and now we’ve got the big spending socialists in the G20 telling Obama he’s too socialist and spending too much. Chinas pi$$ed cuz our dollar is shrinking and Europe is worried we’ll have a bunch of debt to sell em that’ll loose value just like the Chinese are sweating it and everyone is giving Obama an earful about how him and his plans are going to f&%k up everything for the whole world !!!

    “Micky, I don’t have any problem with faith as long as you don’t base serious decisions on it. Otherwise, faith is dangerously stupid.”

    These are good people who makes serious decision based on the morals they get from their faith.
    The framers of our constitution were mostly men of faith who carried these values with them into everything they did, including the foundation of our rights and constitution. Even to have freedom of and from religion.
    Ya know, they weren’t a bunch of faith healers rejecting all common sense , they derive purpose conviction and direction from their faith and in many instances ask themselves “would God want me to do this “?
    The foundations of what’s right and wrong come from faith and are applied to many serious decisions that effect our society and had that foundation of right and wrong coming from God not been their America probably wouldn’t even be here today.
    I know exactly what you’re going to spew in response to that so spare me your contempt for those who can think a little differently than you, and see past themselves.
    You’ll probably point to all the viscous wars started in the name of God and blab bla bla while forgetting about the majority of Christians and Jews we have today that are basically good honest people

    “As for Iraq, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who thinks that fiasco was worth the cost is insanely deluded.”

    Anyone who cant see the benefits of what we did is a one dimensional thinker who cant see past the mindless crap they’ve been ranting for 8 years now. “There were no WMDs, blood for oil, halliburton, bla bla bla…
    The benefits of what we did will be felt by millions for decades to come, it worked, and you moonbats cant handle. So go ahead, kick and scream, its over and you guys just look like sore losers.
    As far as “worth” goes, gee, how bout the guys who volunteered their lives to go there ?
    Its not a cheap shot, the troops are the crux of the matter, they’re the ones who actually went to the fight, they thought it was worth it, are they insane and deluded ?

  7. Micky, did you look at the GOP porposal? First os all, it has no hard numbers. The ywant to cut the top marginal rate down to 25% and raise the next effective rate to 10% – that would be huge tax break for the rich, and a massive tax increase for the middle class. That’s the GOP for ya’.

    The war was not worth it.

    Obama is still very popular.

    The congress always has low numbers in general, but people always favor their own reps – it’s called American Stupidity.


  8. Oh, and people who base serious political, economic, or diplomatic decisions on religion are dangerous lunatics. All of them. IMHO.


  9. Micky 2 says:

    Jersey, I know you love to spin things and change the wording ever so slightly as the conversation progresses but I never said that we should base serious political decisions on religion.
    I was stating that the values we get from our faith are reflected in the decisions we make.
    Like not bearing false wirness (ya know that lie thing?)
    Not stealing and stuff.
    And I’ve yet to see anyone refute the fact that our constitutional framers were men of faith who employed most of their christian values right into the constitution and many decisions that made this contry what it is.
    One thing is for damn sure, we were not founded on atheism or secular beliefs.
    You disengenuous morons love to slam Bush when he said that God told him to do something.
    Any honest person knows he was refering to the word of god that comes thru the values we are taught to hold as Christians.
    He was not saying that a voice came outof the clouds and told him to do so.
    And as far as Palin saying dinosaurs roamed the earth 4000 years ago its all bullcrap.

    ‘These allegations appear to stem from a blog post that included “fake Governor Sarah Palin quotes” made up by a blogger at He states that his blog post was an attempt to satirize Gov. Palin’s beliefs, and does not reflect those beliefs in any way.
    The direct quote from is as follows:

    “God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats. Now, as to the ANWR, Todd and I often enjoying caribou hunting and one year we shot up a herd big time, I mean I personally slaughtered around 40 of them with my new, at the time, custom Austrian hunting rifle. And guess what? That caribou herd is still around and even bigger than ever. Caribou herds actually need culling, be it by rifles or wolves, or Exxon-Mobil oil rigs, they do just great!”

    The post concludes with the following disclaimer:
    “Disclaimer: She didn’t actually say these things – I made them up. But thanks for all the visits.”
    And then you got some schmuck like Matt Damon who read and abused his exposure to spread that crap.

    “Micky, did you look at the GOP porposal? First os all, it has no hard numbers.”

    Boehner already said the details will be out in a week and that what were looking at is a blueprint. So why doncha hang on a sec because I caqn assure the damn thing wont be 9000 pages long and as unreadable as that crap the dems put out

    ” The ywant to cut the top marginal rate down to 25% and raise the next effective rate to 10% – that would be huge tax break for the rich, and a massive tax increase for the middle class. That’s the GOP for ya’.”

    Gee, ya think ?
    What purpose would it serve us to go along dem lines and propose a budget that kills commerce and looses jobs ?

    “The war was not worth it.”

    Tell that to the ones risking their lives who think its worth it.
    They are the ultimate authority on worth.
    Not you. Not me.
    Your case against doesnt even stack up next to my case for it.

    “Obama is still very popular.”

    Not as popular as he used to be and is trending down in popularity, thats the point.
    3 years from now you’ll be saying he very popular and will be true but only amongst his immediate family

    “The congress always has low numbers in general, but people always favor their own reps – it’s called American Stupidity.”

    Polls all around show the dems on the hill are loosing support, been thru this, showed you the results, go ahead, keep blabbing the same thing although the facts are changing.

  10. FlagGazer says:

    Thank you for your email and your request for more information – imagine my surprise when you had blocked my email account and the email bounced back.

    When Steele laughed and agreed that the Republican Party looked like the Nazi Party, he lost all credibility with me. He also lost my monetary support for the RNC.

  11. FlagGazer says:

    bounced again – grrrrrrrr

  12. FlagGazer says:

    failed yet again –

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