The Republican Party has its work cut out for itself. Their loss to Barack Obama suggests that the party needs to regroup, but the way they lost reveals that they are in desperate need of re-branding.
Of course, this is impossible without competent and vigilant leadership.
The few Republicans that held the world’s attention at the end of the electoral season hardly represent an image the party can move forward with.
John McCain represents an aged and outmoded Republican era, Sarah Palin (whose last name I still refuse to add to my Microsoft Word dictionary) somehow reaches even further back in time.
Samuel Wurzelbacher (Joe the Plumber) is busy reporting for Pajamas Media, trying to convince people to purchase digital converter boxes for their televisions.
Where can the party find a leader who can be omnipresent in the media without the taint of monikers like Caribou Barbie and Septic Tank Ken?
Apparently, they found one in the Maryland Lieutenant Governor’s office.
Michael Steele is the first African American Chairman of the Republican Party, but once again Republicans are throwing a curve ball down a straight tunnel.
Naturally, Steele does come with the standard political baggage. He ended his first political race with a $35 thousand debt, the majority owed to his sister, Monica Turner.
He was also twice fined for missing deadlines to file campaign finance reports and faced foreclosure in 2001.
Fortunately, the state awarded him a $30 thousand consulting contract to keep him out of hot water.
His latest financial irregularity comes from his failed 2006 campaign bid.
Apparently, Steele arranged for his Senate campaign to pay a non-operational company run by his sister for services which were never rendered.
One of the allegations is that Steele’s Senate campaign paid $37 thousand to Turner’s company, Brown Sugar Unlimited, for catering and web services.
However, Turner filed the necessary paperwork to dissolve the company nearly a year earlier.
When Turner was asked about the allegations she refused to comment.
Steele’s spokesman commented that Turner ‘did a lot of media stuff’ for the Senate campaign and provided invoices for two separate catering events, one of which totaled $15,000.
The two events were dated Oct. 2006 and July 2007. The invoice itself was dated Dec. 2006. The spokesman claimed it was a typographical error.
But the fun doesn’t stop there.
With Palin and Joe the Plumber’s image losing stock, the Republican Party needs a new mascot.
Here’s one: how about Iron Mike Tyson?
You may remember the delightful, average and ear-biting man who used to be the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
Well, he happens to be Turner’s former husband, and a huge supporter of his former brother-in-law.
Tyson has stated that he would happily return to the ring if it would help his former brother-in-law.
‘I would box an exhibition for him,’ he said. I would even fight again to help Mike. I would do anything.’
Tyson met Turner in 1990 at a party held in the home of Eddie Murphy.
The two were married eight years later.
Steele has not commented publicly about his friendship with the boxer, but spokesman Doug Heye responded through an e-mail.
‘Mike Tyson is the father of the Lt. Gov’s niece and nephew and therefore a member of his family.’
With financial irregularities on both sides of the isle, Steele certainly knows where to go if he needs someone to take a bite out of those pesky congressional earmarks.
Chris Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.