One of the most popular causes in American politics in recent years has been defending traditional marriage, and Blackwell has been in the forefront of this cause, too. In 2004, he was a principal proponent of the Ohio state defense-of-marriage amendment that won more than 60 percent of the vote.
He has never wavered in defending the right to life. The Website of his 2006 gubernatorial campaign stated: "Ken Blackwell believes all innocent life is sacred and should be protected. His opposition to abortion has been steadfast and consistent, he has always been pro-life. The first obligation of government is to protect innocent life. As governor, Ken would advance a culture of life, just as he has for 30 years, as mayor of Cincinnati, ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission and in statewide office."
Perhaps most importantly, Blackwell is a happy warrior in the mold of Ronald Reagan. He persuasively communicates Republican ideas and principals with wit and unfailing good humor.
It is also a plus, his advocates say, that he happens to be an African-American who can expand the visibility of the Republican Party in a community where its reach has been sadly and dramatically attenuated in recent decades.
"I think Ken would be a great chairman," Club for Growth President Pat Toomey told me this week. "He understands the importance of holding the coalition that can restore the Republican Party to its majority. He's a solid conservative. He's a very appealing guy. He will go over well with not just the Republican base but also with the moderate Republicans and independents that we need to attract and energize.
"I think he would be a great choice," said Toomey.
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