***Watch the vid***
Michael Steele is burning up the campaign trail and the airwaves. The GOP Senate candidate and Maryland Lt. Gov. took his clue-by-four to the Washington Post on Fox News Sunday. Responding to a WaPo editorial attempting to paint him as the “establishment” candidate, Steele upbraided the smug punditocracy with his trademark anti-establishment candor:
WALLACE: Lieutenant Governor, the Washington Post endorsed your opponent, Ben Cardin, over the weekend, and they had some very harsh words for you. Let’s put them up on the screen.
WALLACE: “Despite his efforts to construct an image as an independent-minded newcomer, there is nothing in Michael Steele’s past — no achievement, no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues — to support it.”
The Post says that as lieutenant governor for the past four years, you have had marginal influence.
STEELE: I know. Isn’t it a shame? Well, you know, Chris, that is pitiful. It is absolutely pitiful, and that’s nothing more than what the Baltimore Sun said about me four years ago, that I bring nothing to the table but the color of my skin. They were just a little bit more sophisticated in their ignorance.
My conversation with the editorial board didn’t go the way they wanted it to go because I wouldn’t kowtow and answer the questions the way they wanted me to answer them. I’m my own person. I don’t care about the Washington Post. The Washington Post is not going to get me elected. The Washington Post is not going to prevent me from getting elected.
They’re a bunch of folks, as I told them in the interview, who sit in an ivory tower, who have no clue what real life is about out here. It’s easy to pontificate when you don’t have to put a vote on the line, when you don’t have to look a voter in the eye and let them know what you really think, so what — they come after me.
Now, how many times very you seen the Washington Post do a second editorial on a candidate that they didn’t even endorse? It makes no sense. So clearly, I must be winning this race, and the Washington Post will have to write that headline, “Steele Wins”, and then eat it.
If the 2006 election for Maryland’s U.S. Senate seat were held today, would you vote for:
This poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. from November 1 through November 3, 2006. A total of 625 registered Maryland voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. All stated they were likely to vote in the November general election.
Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers.
A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter turn-out by county.
The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Cathy Ewing loves Maryland Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele’s television ads, such as the one where he appears with a puppy to assure voters he isn’t the hard- hearted pol Democrats make him out to be.
While the ads won Steele a long look from Ewing, and almost won her over, Iraq and Republican scandals tipped the 28-year-old hair stylist from Frostburg in the other direction. “If it had been any other year, I’d probably have voted for him,” said Ewing, a registered Democrat who voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Other Democrats are readier to break ranks. “I’m a Democrat, but you need to be supportive of having African- Americans in the Senate,” Henry Harris, 51, who owns a telecommunications business in Fort Washington, said of the possibility that Steele will become the first black Republican senator in 28 years.
That Steele even has a chance against Democratic rival Ben Cardin in a state where Republicans are outnumbered 2-to-1 is one of the few bright spots this year for Republicans, who are fighting to keep control of Congress.
“It’s a really tough year for any Republican, especially in a state as blue as Maryland,” said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst for the Cook Political Report, a non-partisan newsletter in Washington. “The really big thing is that Steele made this a race when people didn’t think there’d be one…”
The vile bile we have to put up with