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Modern? Steele Promises New GOP Image in Hip-Hop Settings

Get ready Democrats. The new RNC Chairman Michael Steele is gearing up an "off the hook" public relations campaign for his party. The first African-American Republican chairman told the Washington Times that he plans on bringing the Grand Old Party's principles to "urban-suburban hip-hop settings." What do you think that would look like?

Here are some other quotes from the interview:

  • On not leaving anyone out: We need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.
  • On the regionalization of the party: There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort. We need messengers to really capture that region — young, Hispanic, black, a cross section . . . We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-suburban hip-hop settings.
  • On reaching out to moms: Where we have fallen down in delivering a message is in having something to say, particularly to young people and moms of all shapes — soccer moms, hockey moms.
  • In making his case that the GOP has to get back in touch with America, Michael Steele sounds surprisingly out of touch. Then again, I give him credit for wanting to push the party out of its comfort zone. What do you make of the interview?


    Join The Conversation
    Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
    mydiadem, I personally know a number of non-Christians who consider them selves republicans. Oh, and never met a Republican atheist? How about a pro-life atheist? Go to my blog on God and the immortal soul.
    StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
    I could say many, many bad things about democrats, but i am not so shallow minded to assume that they are all the same.
    dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
    Oh, stephley, I couldn't care less. The only reason they would get riled up is because it's true and they want to defend themselves. So, Republicans, scream all you want! I'm going to go for a run.
    em1282 em1282 8 years
    "Given where they continue to stand now I have no desire to go back. I'd rather be Independent." Heh, mydiadem, that's exactly what my bf says. :)
    stephley stephley 8 years
    Oooh dm, have you just painted a target on yourself! :)
    dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
    To me, the Republican party means every man for himself, outlawing human rights on the basis of religion, ignoring global crisis in favor of money and power, and either bumbling idiots who can't speak convincingly (Bush) or blow-hards who talk way too much (Limbaugh - to name just one). No matter what style they try to exude (although I will say that hip-hop is lightyears better than Stetson), their beliefs and attitudes do not allign with mine nor, in my opinion, the rapidly changing and maturing world's.
    mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
    I'm judging what I have experienced and what I see on conservative TV. I'm judging based on the Republican primary debates when no one could say that they believed in evolution and just looked around wide eyed because if they dared to say that thought evolution could be possible they would lose the nomination. I'm judging based on the fact that I can't name a single Republican politican that isn't Christian. I can think of very few that are from a minority, and if they are they are 'moderate' and seen as not real Republicans. Rove and Bush didn't even like Steele. Powell and Richardson are disloyalists. You say that you don't have to agree with every policy to believe that a specific party is better for the country - but you can condemn someone like Arlen Specter because he supported the stimulus bill for his own reasons and the reasons of his constituents. You can condemn Lincoln Chafee for not supporting the war in Iraq. You can have a term like RINO. Where is the true ability to disagree I ask?
    StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
    My husband is not a christian. Actually I'm not really sure what he is. maybe agnostic, but there are definitely days when he thinks like an atheist. He is a staunch republican. There are things about a party that you have to look past in order to be part of it. There are many people that are pro life democrats. But the democrat party is for abortion. You don't have to agree with EVERY policy to believe that a specific party is better for the country. I happen to disagree with a lot of the socially conservative aspects of the party, but I will take it over socializing our nation. As does my husband. I voted No on 8. My husband the agnostic/atheist--- voted yes. You act like you know what all of the members of the republican party are like, but you have no idea. You are judging from a small section.
    mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
    Not socialism, unless its a prescription drug coverage for old people then socialism is a-ok for Republicans.
    mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
    Ah yeah, I know that ideology Hainan (I stress ideology because that isn't the practice). What I want to know is can you be Republican and be an atheist? A Non-Christian? How about supporting personal freedoms instead of listening to my phone calls? Where does the party stand on social security and medicare?
    StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
    Republicans emphasize the role of free market decision making in fostering economic prosperity. They support the idea of individuals being economically responsible for their own actions and decisions. They favor a laissez-faire free market, policies supporting business, economic liberalism, and fiscal conservatism but with higher spending on the military. Self responsibility rather than relying on a government to give you what you need. Not forcing people to continue to live on government assistance because it is more profitable to do so. States rights. Strict constructionism of the constitution, or narrow interpretation. Fiscal responsibility, living within you means, not printing fake money. Keeping taxes low. A government that is large enough to give you everything you want, is large enough to take everything you need. We think that the way the framers intended the nation to be is the right way. Not socialism.
    mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
    I agree with you em, I was registered Republican for most of my adult life until they totally lost me a few years ago with the whole there is no such thing as a moderate Republican anymore. Given where they continue to stand now I have no desire to go back. I'd rather be Independent.
    em1282 em1282 8 years
    ...and yes I know there is a difference between conservatives and republicans.
    em1282 em1282 8 years
    I'm curious to know, too. My bf considers himself to be mostly conservative (and thinks that Republicans have not been doing enough to prove that they are also 'fiscally conservative'), but has been disappointed with the Republican party and hasn't voted Republican because of that. ...I do think it's funny that he called out one-armed midgets, though. :rotfl: Hey, if hockey moms are a new contingency, so are one-armed midgets!
    mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
    What is the Republican message? All I've gotten is that if you aren't hard line then you aren't a real Republican. That's not something that appeals to a lot of people in this country, let alone specific groups.
    StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
    And he never said he is or wants to be hip hop, just that he wants to bring the message to those venues. There is nothing funny or lame about that. Do you think the democrats should own the ability to go into those venues and spread their message. I still cannot believe that negativity towards him. I think he will do a great job. I have never really understood the democrats thinking that the have the "market cornered" for the minority vote. Republicans have a lot to offer. They just never get to hear our side because the democrats cram their message down their throats.
    StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
    I like this man.
    indielove indielove 8 years
    :rotfl: This is just...sad. This guy is quickly becoming a caricature. Of ginormous proportions, I hope. All he needs is a backwards cap that screams "HOODLUM!"
    hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
    I agree with his effort but his declaration is less than to be desired and that photo is hilarious.
    emily_88_88 emily_88_88 8 years
    I just feel like the GOP is trying Way too hard. That said, they need to if they want to survive in the political arena. It really feels like unless they patch themselves up and become respectable again quickly, they're going to split into two-- the progressive conservatives vs. the far right wing nutters (sorry to any right wingers; God love you, but I think your ideas are WAY off-balanced).
    T-S T-S 8 years
    >moms of all shapes — soccer moms, hockey moms. This made me giggle. I know it's not what he meant, but it's like he's saying we have to talk to allll kinds of moms, soccer moms AND hockey moms, as though they are polar ends of a spectrum. haus, you can put anything you'd put in a tv ad or mailer onto a social media sight. It's just getting your message in front of different eyeballs. Elizabeth, conservative campuses tend to have large Student Democrat groups and vice versa. When you're in the minority, you're more likely to join a group, which is why UC Berkeley's largest student group is the College Republicans.
    hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
    I see what you're saying Elizabeth, and yes, we should def. try it. I just don't want to have to sum up party principle into a 7 word "tweet". I think Twitter and Facebook would be helpful in courting a certain kind of voter but I'd rather get out there face to face, hold more events and really drive the message home.
    elizabeth1689 elizabeth1689 8 years
    hausfrau- as a 19 year old i don't think it's sad at all that they have to use facebook or twitter. its not that we can't be bothered to put in 3 minutes of work but when you're being flooded with liberal messages on those sorts of sites, the republican party should definitely try to counteract that. even on a fairly conservative campus like georgetown (at least compared to other schools) the college democrats have an enormous following. if reaching out to young people through the ways in which we communicate will get more people to join our cause, why shouldn't we at least try it?
    genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
    I agree about not dumbing down the message haus. Personally I wouldn't want a hip-hop star to tell me about politics, which is why I find it ridiculous to make a perfectly knowledgeable politician try to be "cool"
    hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
    Personally I don't believe in dumbing down the message to reach more young people. I think its really sad to have to use Facebook or Twitter if you want support because young people can't be bothered to put in 3 minutes worth of work.
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