Jewish World Review July 9, 2010 27 Tamuz 5770
Steele in 2012? Not So Crazy
By Roger Simon
His comments since assuming the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee have been weird, his actions crazy, and his behavior indefensible. Which leads me to believe he is preparing a run for president.
It is not unthinkable. A demographic plan exists:
The Democratic candidates who win the presidency never win the white vote. Jimmy Carter didn't, Bill Clinton didn't (twice), and Barack Obama didn't. What they do to gain victory is win enough of the white vote and an overwhelming minority vote.
As the black Republican nominee, Steele could get many of the white votes a Republican usually gets, while cutting into the Democratic black vote. In this manner, he could defeat Barack Obama in 2012. And that would be his pitch for getting his party's nomination.
There is a problem with this scenario, however: Is there anyone — black, white, Republican or Democrat — goofy enough to vote for Michael Steele?
Maybe not. But November 2012 is a long way off. And Steele is staking out his own territory.
Take Steele's recent comment that Afghanistan is a war "of Obama's choosing." There is not a crowded field of people who believe that, considering it was a war of George W. Bush's choosing, and one designed to keep al-Qaida from launching further attacks on the United States.
But, according to Steele, Obama failed to understand that "the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan."
Maybe he is right, but due to Bush and Obama, al-Qaida has been forced to fight for its own survival rather than launching fresh attacks on U.S. soil. (Steele's follow-up comment issued last Friday — "the stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan" — hardly cleared things up.)
Some Republican leaders were outraged by Steele, something they have gotten used to since Steele was elected to his two-year term on Jan. 30, 2009, on the sixth ballot. (Some would think that a sixth-ballot victory would call for a quiet consolidation of power. But Michael Steele interpreted it as a call to throw hand grenades. Such is the ambition of future presidents.)
On "This Week" last Sunday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC's Jake Tapper that Steele's statements were "wildly inaccurate, and there is no excuse for them."
On "Face the Nation With Bob Schieffer," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., decried Steele's "uninformed, unnecessary, unwise, untimely comment" before Graham ran out of "uns."
Dan Senor, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, told Tapper, "What's striking about Steele is how fundamentally unserious" he is.
Senor is 100 percent correct. But this is the best thing Steele has going for him. Do serious candidates always win the presidency? Did Michael Dukakis? Did Al Gore?
Sure, Barack Obama was serious in 2008, but he sold himself as an agent of change to an unhappy America. In 2012, Obama is going to have to defend the last four years to a (probably) unhappy America.
And how "serious" is politics today when people who believe Obama was born in Kenya, Indonesia or Transylvania are considered a real political movement?
No, serious is not always what you want to be if you want a future in politics.
So when you look at Michael Steele, you are not seeing a man wildly blundering. You are seeing at a man running for president. It just looks like the same thing.
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© 2009, Creators Syndicate