Newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has some surprises up his sleeve, said Ralph Z. Hallow in The Washington Times. The GOP's first black chairman says he's planning what he calls an "off the hook" PR offensive to attract young voters. Targeted at blacks and Hispanics, it would apply the party's principles to 'urban-suburban hip-hop settings.'"
This is the most amusing example yet of how Republicans think bad "messaging" is what turns youngsters away from their policies, said Christopher Orr in The New Republic. "I look forward to the spectacle of conservative white senators referring to one another as 'dawg,' while they present capital gains tax cuts as an economic panacea."
"Michael Steele sounds clownish," said Ross Douthat in The Atlantic, "and merits some mockery, but he isn't entirely wrong: Symbolism matters in politics." A "more youth-oriented, multicultural, self-aware" image could help. But only as a complement to changes in the GOP's current raft of "deeply unpopular" policies.