MELADY: Michael S. Steele for RNC chairman

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Tomorrow, Republicans through their state chairmen and committeemen will elect the chairman of the Republican National Committee. There is special importance to the election as this chairman will lead the party in the national presidential elections of November 2012.

On the issue of the chairman, it is unfortunate that within the fraternity of the Republican Party, there was not much civility in discussing the issues.

Regardless of that problem, I urge my fellow Republicans to re-elect Michael S. Steele. He has been a dynamic leader who articulates a comprehensive political philosophy that includes all Americans.

Mr. Steele is a man of principle. This commitment is not a recent acquisition. His pro-life position is a way of life that began at birth. As he has said to his friends, he is here today because his “birth mother gave him the gift of life with an adoptive family.”

In the years since then, he has stood firmly for the pro-life position in Maryland, a state where taking a stand on the right to life requires considerable courage.

The people of the same state, however, elected Mr. Steele as lieutenant governor. Mr. Steele’s strong commitment to outreach to all people made him a popular choice.

In my opinion, his long commitment to “bottoms up” political leadership has been an important factor in the landslide Republican victories of November 2010. How fortunate it is as we prepare for the 2012 elections, when our goal is to elect a Republican as president, we have as head of the party a man with such popular appeal.

Mr. Steele is gifted in several ways that constitute an advantage for us as we enter the political battle to end the administration of President Obama. He is a man of firm principle, a dynamic leader who inspires the support of the average voter.

These attributes are also attractive to the community of independent voters. We know how important it is for the Republican candidate to attract independent voters.

After two years at the helm of the Republican Party, Mr. Steele, with the experience of quarterbacking the 2010 victory, will lead us to another victory in the election of 2012.

Michael S. Steele should be re-elected as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Thomas P. Melady is the former U.S. ambassador to Burundi, Uganda and the Vatican and president emeritus of Sacred Heart University.

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