Friday, January 19, 2007

Mel sails through - Now it's time to move on

Well, we expected, perhaps naively, that the opposition to Mel Martinez would prove more strenuous than it was. Martinez sailed through will only a hand-full dissenting in the voice vote. We will now find out if Republicans can move beyond this episode, and come together to face the challenges of '08.

In his speech following the vote, Martinez talked about expanding the Republican base to include more Hispanics and African Americans. Those assembled gave their approval with a standing ovation. Read the entire address here. Will give you the high points:

I want to congratulate Mike Duncan. I know for a fact that without Mike’s hard work and support in running the day-to-day operations of the RNC, it would be impossible for me to take this position as General Chairman. Mike is already a good friend, and I know that our relationship will continue to grow and be a strong one as we strive together to lead our party.


My life and my experiences are why I share those ideals with you, and why I am so proud to be able to serve this Party.

My story is like so many other American stories. A story of hope, and the promise of the American Dream. A story of trying to create a better life for the next generation, so that they might have opportunities to succeed in ways that their parents and grandparents were not able to succeed.


The American Dream might take different forms for different people.

To the young families who are the roots of our society, it might mean owning their very first home.

To the single mom who needs medicine for herself and her child, it might mean health care you own and can take with you when you switch jobs.

To the small family business owner who dreams of growing his business, it might mean lower taxes and less regulation.

To our seniors, including members of that Greatest Generation, it might mean knowing that they can control their own retirement.

But to all of them, it means opportunity, and a limitless future. And that is what our Party is all about.


To be the Party of the future means that we also have to be a party that opens the door wide-open so that all Americans feel welcome. There are too many Americans who do not understand that the principles of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan speak to their hopes, their dreams, and their aspirations. I will take the message of our Party to all Americans.

As a member of the Cuban-American community, it was easy for me to understand that the Republican Party, the party of Ronald Reagan, was a party for us.

I want to make sure that we take that message to the broader Hispanic community, to the African-American community, and to all communities that may never have believed that Republican ideals spoke to them. So they, too, understand that if they care about education for their children, accountability in their schools, if they care about entrepreneurship, about beginning a small business and growing it into a large business, if they care about a Party that stands for less government, but more individual freedom … then we are the party for them and their American Dream.


It would be tempting today for me to talk to you about our strategies and tactics as we plan to retake the Congress and elect a Republican president in 2008.

But not today. What I am going to do over the next two years is assist our Party in a renewal of the principles that have made us great: lower taxes, limited government, individual responsibility, freedom here and abroad, and the power of faith. I am going to carry those principles to the American people, explaining why the Republican way of doing things is the best way to solve America’s problems.

And if I do my job right, if we all are successful in communicating our message, if we stand for our principles, we will be rewarded with success … and the high responsibility of governing.

I am going to concentrate on talking about a Republican Party that is the party of optimism, the party of the future, the party that stands for solutions to the American people’s problems. I want to describe my passion for a Party that speaks to America’s hopes, aspirations, and dreams. I want to lead the Party of a bright future.

All in all, a good start. I can only hope that my conservative brethren, those that opposed Martinez, can look beyond any differences that they may have with the new chairman. Without a unified party, we will surely repeat the disaster of 2006.

No comments: