Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Our nation was founded on a belief that our individual rights come from our Creator. Throughout this past year, the policies of the administration have given more and more control to the government -- at the cost of individual liberty.

Steele's book acknowledges where key Republican mistakes have been made. "Republicans once insisted that our nation's opportunities rest not in government but in the hands of individuals," Steele writes. "Over the past decade or so, however, we Republicans lost our way."

Steele continues by articulating the differences between the current policies of the governing Democratic Party and the Republican Party's conservative principles.

"Conservative principles produce policies that empower people ... . Liberalism teaches people to give up."

In addressing how to move forward, Steele writes, "We need to communicate our values, not impose them."

In a Tuesday interview on Fox, host Sean Hannity asked Steele whether he thought Republicans would be able to take over the House.

"Not this year," Steele responded.

This sparked a flare-up of "What does this mean?" by political pundits. Instead of guessing, I asked Steele.

"I gave a candid assessment on how difficult it will be for us to take the House back," Steele said in an e-mail. "Some of my teammates didn't like that. So let me be clear -- I'm not a pundit. I think it is a long-shot, doable, but a long-shot. There is no question that the American people are fed up with Speaker Pelosi and President Obama. They are ready to take Congress back.

"The hard part is putting in place the candidates and resources given that the Democrats control massive amounts of resources. But, here is what I can tell you for sure: We will leave nothing on the playing field. We will spend every ounce of energy and money we can to win every race we can, just like we did this year in the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races."

Sheldon's take on whether the Democratic Party will use Steele's acknowledgment of a mistake against the Republican Party: "Count on it. In my personal opinion, 'mud-slinging' is now a 24/7/365 tactic in our political landscape. This is a sad state of affairs and keeps our focus off meaningful conversations about important topics that matter to many."

Steele's book, "RightNow," is the right book for the right time. It will be interesting to see if this ability to acknowledge and refocus is isolated and therefore has little impact, or becomes part of a sustained conversation that brings with it Real Big Change.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.