Michael Steele has just announced his candidacy for Paul Sarbanes’ Senate seat, but the Democrat assault on him has been escalating for months.
The outlines of their attack are clear. 1) they will attack Steele for being “arrogant” and “out of touch” with the Black community, and 2) they will try to tie him and Gov. Ehrlich as closely as possible to George Bush and other leaders of the national Republican party such as Tom DeLay and Karl Rove. These make sense in a state where forty percent of the electorate is black and Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one.
For his part Steele has enthusiastically embraced the rhetoric of George Bush’s “opportunity society”. In his speech announcing his candidacy he said:
[G]overnment leaders from both sides of the aisle must work harder to "come together and work for the same freedom, the same growth and the same opportunity" while also helping create "real legacy wealth for our children.
"Too many in
today are not working toward that common goal of growth and freedom and an equal opportunity for every individual," Steele noted. "Instead, too many on the left have their feet set in the concrete of old fears, old divisions and the old ways of government. Washington
"And no people can prosper when its leaders believe the route to empowerment lies not in the advancement of the individual, but in the promotion of an opportunistic government," he added. "We can do better."
Moderation, bi-partisanship, and expanding opportunities – those are the touchstones of Steele’s campaign. Will they sell? He’s currently running behind in the polls against likely Democrat candidate Ben Cardin, but it’s still early and much can, and certainly will happen in the coming year.
Read about Steele’s announcement and the Democrat response here.