Michael S. Steele – the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and the current chairman of GOPAC – (a political action committee which calls itself the training ground for Republican leaders) has been mentioned as a potential running mate for John McCain. Michael Steele has attained national prominence due to his stature as a successful elected conservative Republican African American and his public speaking. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, Steele gave the Republican counterpoint to the Democrats’ Barack Obama in a prime time speech, Steele’s first major national exposure. It would be a fitting sequel for him to actually run against Barack Obama.

Here are some basic facts about Michael Steele before I go into reasons why he would make a great running mate for John McCain:

He is the first African American to serve in a Maryland state-wide office and the first Republican lieutenant governor in the state since the position was created in 1970. He served with former Governor Robert Erlich, elected in 2002.

He was, at the time, the highest-ranking elected African American Republican in the United States. On October 25, 2005, Steele announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring senator Paul Sarbanes. On November 7, 2006, Steele lost the election to Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin. Many would say that Michael Steele had no chance of being elected since it is extremely difficult for a Republican to get elected to statewide office in Maryland.Robert Erlich and Michael Steele only made it as far as they did because they were running against one of the most unpromising candidates on the Democratic side, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Michael Steele earned a Bachelor Degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and he earned a law degree at Georgetown. Before entering law school, Michael Steele spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood. He entered the Augustinian Friars Seminary at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. As a seminarian, he taught freshman world history and senior economics for one year at Malvern Prep School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, but ultimately decided on a career in law and he left the Seminary prior to taking the vows.

Now for why I consider Michael Steele to be a viable running mate for John McCain, and I will write this is a top ten list.

1. Michael Steele is more conservative than John McCain

2. He couldn’t agree more with John McCain’s position on the war in Iraq: This is quoted from a candidate survey he did in 2006. “It is imperative we improve conditions on the ground so we can bring our troops home as quickly as possible and have the Iraqi people take control of their own destiny. At the same time, we should not publicly state a timetable for implementation. I do not support a ‘cut and run strategy.’ Any politician out there talking about timetables and timelines is playing into the hands of our enemies who have an enormous capacity to wait. It would be a disaster for us to cut and run, as it would destroy our credibility in the region for at least a generation. At the same time, it is the Iraqi’s themselves that will ultimately have to make democracy work in their country. We should stay there only long enough to give the Iraqi people the tools they need to secure the very democracy they voted for three times. After that, it’s up to them.”

3. Michael Steele as a running mate for John McCain can help the Republicans continue to hold office in 2016 as he is a good presidential candidate

4. Michael Steele is a good counterbalance to John McCain’s military background as Michael Steele has more of an established academic background.

5. Michael Steele’s oratory skills can compare if not outdo Barack Obama.

6. Michael Steele will not try to overshadow John McCain as he has already been a running mate and second-in-command

7. Michael Steele has solid business experience which is vital in a fragile economy. After earning his law degree he worked as a corporate securities associate attorney at the Washington, D.C. office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. From 1991 to 1997, Michael Steele specialized in financial investments for Wall Street underwriters, working at Cleary’s Tokyo, Japan office focusing on major product liability litigation and at its London office on corporate matters. Steele left the law firm and founded the Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm.

8. Michael Steele is well connected and aligned with the Republican Party. This might be vital for the Republican leadership as a John McCain has been a renegade at times. Michael Steele could help keep him on track

9. Michael Steele would not have to give up a current elected position and he is well connected with the Grassroots support necessary to get elected.

10. Michael Steele as John McCain’s running mate will fulfill the nation’s desire at having a historic election year. More than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama with the way things are looking in the Democratic Party, Michael Steele could be the only person that puts this election year in to the books forever as the first ELECTED African-American to serve in the White House.

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