Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 09, 2017 (SKNIS): Former Republican National Committee Chairman and MSNBC Political Analyst Michael Steele said that elected officials must never forget that their office is a public one that is dependent on public support.
Mr. Steele’s advice came while being the featured speaker at the Prime Minister’s Annual New Year’s Gala at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino on January 7, 2017.
“When you become detached as an elected official, when you become too big for your breeches as my momma used to tell me, when you assume that election after election, vote after vote, you’ve got it in your pocket, that’s when you’ve lost, even though you may win the election,” said Mr. Steele, while citing the example of the former Republican majority leader of the United States Congress.
“I’m thinking of the former majority leader of the Congress, Eric Cantor, from Virginia, who forgot the people who elected him, who then reminded him when they unseated him as the sitting majority leader,” said Mr. Steele, author of the book “Right Now: A 12-Step Program For Defeating The Obama Agenda”.
“That was the demon, the devil in the details that Hillary Clinton could not overcome—that no matter how long her legacy, no matter how many years she had in public life—in this moment, at this hour, the folks were looking for a different relationship. People were expecting something different,” he said.
“If ever there was a change election in America, this election was it and yet no one believed it, no one saw it, least of all the people running for office. It wasn’t just Hillary Clinton’s problem, it was Jeff Bush’s problem, Marco Rubio’s problem—the 15 men and women who stood on that stage opposite Donald Trump didn’t get it. But say what you may, and there is a lot to say about Donald Trump—he got it. He connected with people in the real, up close, in their face, personal. He got players to stop playing the game because he was changing the game in front of their eyes and there was nothing they could do about it,” Mr. Steele added.
Mr. Steele, who was the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Maryland, taking office as lieutenant governor in January 2003, said that politics is “a very personal game.”
“At the end of the day, politics is a very personal game. It’s up close; it’s in your face. You smell each other; you reach out and you can touch them; you feel them—at least that’s what you’re supposed to be able to do,” he said.