Even though the 2008 presidential campaign is in full swing, I have not heard a lot of talk about who the most likely vice presidential candidates will be. So far that talk has been largely limited to discussion of the second (and third) tier presidential hopefuls who have been getting exposure through the debates. I expect my favorite though, Michael Steele, will be getting plenty of VP buzz as the election nears.
Since February of this year, Steele has served as chairman of GOPAC. Among other things he was an attorney, founder of a business and legal consulting firm, and Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party before serving as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland beginning in January 2003. In 2006, he was the Republican nominee for United States Senate in Maryland.
I have been a big Steele fan for several years now. On election night 2006 I knew Republicans would be taking some big losses, but was hopeful that Steele would win the Maryland Senate race. Steele’s loss in that race was the toughest of the night for me. The fact that he was competitive in an overwhelmingly Democratic state was impressive, which made the loss in some ways even harder. Although he did not win the race, Steele ran an excellent campaign, which included some amazing ads. His performance in the debates was impressive, as well. During the course of that campaign Steele showed himself to be a star on the national stage.
The Republican candidates for President and Vice President in 2008 need to be excellent communicators. One of the biggest failings of the Bush presidency has been the inability to effectively communicate. Michael Steele is one of the best communicators the Republican party has today. Not only did I see that in his innovative television advertisements and campaign appearances, but in a speech I watched him give in North Carolina recently.
In April I attended the Civitas Institute's Conservative Leadership Conference and heard some excellent speakers, including presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. No one, however, was any more impressive than Michael Steele. In the speech he talked about the opportunity he found in the Republican party. He was funny and energetic and got a wildly enthusiastic response.