Going Both Ways
Supporters of Ken Blackwell’s candidacy for RNC Chairman have been critical of the “moderate” positions taken by Michael Steele. But Blackwell supporters forgot about a minor detail in Blackwell’s past that could make one question his conservative credentials.
Blackwell was elected to the Cincinnati City Council, and served as the Mayor of Cincinnati from 1979-1981. But he was elected neither as a Republican or as a Democrat to the Council, rather being elected as a member of the Charter Party, a third-party in Cincinnati. And what has the Charter Party stood for in the past? A variety of liberal to “progressive” urban interests, often in cooperation and in concert with Cincinnati Democrats. Their recent work includes supporting a tax increase to prop up the Cincinnati Zoo.
Does any of this make Ken Blackwell ideologically unpure to serve as RNC Chairman? Of course not, and while not my first choice I think he would do a reasonable job. Blackwell has twenty-plus years of conservative credentials since his service as a Charterite. But it makes you wonder if some of Blackwell’s supporters (and supporters of other candidates) are using the “conservative credentials” strawman as a wedge issue to gloss over the fact that Steele’s experience in party building vastly outweighs that of other candidates in the field…