Republicans Elect Steele As First Black Chairman

Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Tag Cloud

By George Whitten, Worthy News Chief International Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (Worthy News) — Michael Steele began his first full day Saturday, January 31, as America’s first black chairman of the Republican Party.

Steele, a former lieutenant governor of the U.S. state of Maryland, was elected Friday, January 30, as Republican National Committee Chairman after after six rounds of voting against five other candidates.

The Republican’s double-digit losses in Congress in recent elections  apparently attributed to his victory as he promised “change” to restore the party’s prominence.

As Republican National Committee chairman, Steele will have to find ways to counter Democratic President Barack Obama, who was sworn in as the country’s first black president last month, also on a platform of “change.”

“REMARKABLE MOMENT”

Yet, “This is a remarkable moment. Some say it’s historic, but it’s just one more bold step that the party of Lincoln has taken since its founding,” Steele said at a news conference, referring to the president who freed black slaves in 1863.

Steele, 50, is regarded within the party as a skilled speaker who can help bring the Republican message to black Americans, Hispanics, suburbanites and other fast-growing groups that critics say have shunned the party in recent years.

In speaking to conservatives in his acceptance speech, Steele said his party should adopt to 21st century challenges. “Americans that believe in the future of this country and those who stand in difference to us – it’s time for something completely different, and we’re going to bring it to them.”

He made clear that the Republican Party should not abandon, but return to its conservative roots. “We will concede no ground to anyone on matters of principal, on matters that matter to the people of this country,” he stressed.

However, Steele stressed that as a high-profile Republican in a heavily Democratic state he knows how to talk to voters, outside of the party’s southern stronghold.

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