- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Thursday that President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday propelled Mr. Obama to become the Democrats’ Ronald Reagan in many ways.

Mr. Steele said Mr. Obama presented Hillary Clinton — or anyone, for that matter — with a hard act to follow, and said Mrs. Clinton could have a challenge on her hands in uniting the different elements within the party.

“There are very few people in the country who can command the space the way the president does,” Mr. Steele told The Washington Times, just before the final day of the Democrats’ convention was officially gaveled in.

“He gave, I thought, a singular speech last night,” Mr. Steele said. “It will stand alone.”

“He, last night, became the Democrat Party’s Ronald Reagan in so many ways,” Mr. Steele said. “In terms of vision, in terms of where he sees the party.”

“The problem is I don’t know how Hillary reconciles that with the new, progressive elements within the party,” he said.

“It’s the same challenge Republicans had with the emergence of [the] tea party, the moral majority,” he said.

“These groups within the organization itself who begin to take hold and take root in a way that they want to be heard and they want to move the party in a particular direction,” he said.

“Democrats will go through that exact same struggle, if you will, that Republicans are still going through,” he said.

“So it’s going to be interesting to see if she wins, how she governs with the progressive wing, the newly-emerged progressive wing of the party looking over her shoulder and [saying] remember, we want this, we want that, we want this, and when the country’s going to be moving or pulling in a different direction,” he said.

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