One school of thought has the Lt. Governor of Maryland, Michael Steele as a possible guy for the job, Mary Matlin and Maria Cino have also been mentioned.
Any of the three would be interesting, putting a high profile woman or minority as the party chair would definitely be a first for either party. However, doing just to have a woman or black man in charge would be wrong.
Steele, in my mind, would be an excellent choice, though most folks don't think he wants the job. He's smart, articulate, and annoys the hell out of democrats (just read Kos articles about him).
I don't know enough about Cino to make any statements. Matlin, on the other hand, is well known, understands the party and it's problems, and would be another excellent choice. Her biggest problem is she still carries the title of "Dick Cheney's Former Communications Director", and some folks in the party, regardless of her skills will hold that against her.
Another person who should get serious consideration is George Pataki. The social conservative end the party would hate the idea, but the fact is the guy was able to get elected governor in a state so blue the blood changed colors. The GOP needs to be able to attract exactly the type of voters he did to get elected.
Here's some choices that shouldn't EVER be brought up. First and foremost Rick Santorum. He's the Nancy Pelosi of the right, and would exactly the wrong choice to try and expand the party, which is what is neccessary.
Second, Newt Gingrich. As much as folks year for 1994 again, they have short memories and forget why Newt's gone. Nominate him as party chair, and you'll be reminded of it constantly.
Finally, and it's not been mentioned but will be at some point, Dick Cheney. Many think he's the "brain" of the White House, but he's definitely a polarizing . So here's the scenario, to calm the Democratic majority in Congress, Dick retires as VP, claiming health reasons, or whatever.
Cheney going away would remove a lot of what the Democrats hate about the White House. Then, when his successor is named, the Party asks him to run for Chairman, citing his many years of service to the party. Folks who don't believe me, wait a few days, maybe a week, and you'll hear his name mentioned by others. Anyone fool enough to think it's a good idea needs to join Pat Buchannon on the sidelines of the conservative movement.
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