"There might also be a darkhorse candidate you don't know about," Republican rising star Herman Cain (above) teased his SRLC audience yesterday afternoon before exiting stage right to an ecstatic roar of approval. "I think he just announced his candidacy," says The Right Scoop, go-to man for all things video.
Why can't Michael Steele be more like Herman Cain? And no, we're not talking about the color of their skin but the content of their character. We were gung ho on Steele when he was named the RNC's "first African-American Chairman" in January of 2009. Sure, the color of his skin figured big in the RNC's post-election "strategery," what with the nation's first African-American POTUS duly ensconsed. But based upon Steele's frequent appearances on Fox News, his character content was looking pretty good to us back then. We were blindsided a couple of months later when the new RNC Chair seemed to buy into the legacy media's uncritical acceptance of Obama & Company's spin on dissent. As we blogged in "Obama's sledging strategy of intimidation":
We were horrified to find ourselves watching LIVE on CNN Saturday night as our own "Energizer-in-Chief," RNC Chair Michael Steele took the bait in response to a dig from Rahm Emanuel fellow traveler D.L. Hughley, host of a relatively new "comedic news show." When Hughley referred to Rush as "the de facto leader of the Republican party," Steele dutifully followed the MSM narrative, dismissing Rush as an "entertainer" whose show is "incendiary" and "ugly."
Having run out the procrastination clock this morning, we made our protest sign for the Greater Boston Tea Party with Sarah Palin on Boston Common Wednesday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Looking good. As discussed in our previous post, we used Herman Cain's words, "Stay inspired: We the people are still in charge" on one side, a blue and gold Image of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July on the reverse.
Just an entertainer? We'll have more to say on that in a moment, but first a bit more about Michael Steele's recent career trajectory. A couple of weeks ago came a yawner of a "scandal" about the RNC's spending donors' hard-earned money on trashy entertainment and such. Some said Steele must go, while some said no. He'll probably stay on for the time being, but here's the rub. Even as Herman Cain kept us inspired, Steele was letting himself get bogged down in questions about whether he and Barack Obama were being held to a higher standard because they're black. Okay. We can buy that, and it's a debate worth having, but you don't want someone preoccupied with these issues at the head of the Republican party. You want someone like the Satchmo portrayed in Terry Teachout's new Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (We caught Teachout enthusing about his new book on C-Span in the wee hours this morning):
To be sure, Armstrong could be moody and profane off stage, but for the most part he was the living embodiment of Johnny Mercer's admonition in "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive": You've got to spread joy up to the maximum/Keep gloom down to the minimum. As much as anything else, this was what made him a star, and the fact that he became a full-fledged star in turn played a crucial role in popularizing jazz.
Now back to the question of "just" an entertainer. Rush is one. Louis Armstrong was one. Herman Cain is one. As Rupert Murdock told Marvin Kalb last week, "the public wants good, ethical journalism, good, factual journalism, But they also want to be entertained." That's what's wrong with Michael Steele's road show. He's not entertaining. He's not having fun. Come on, Chairman Steele, time to "latch on to the affirmative … No! Don't mess with Mr. In-Between!
Update: Ed Morrissey's exclusive interview with Herman Cain:
I’ve always been impressed with his speeches, but I was even more impressed with Herman Cain after getting a chance to see how he thinks and how philosophically grounded he is in conservatism.
Crossposted at Liberty Pundits.