Steele Wins RNC

So, now that the GOP has its first African American party chair...one must ask what, precisely, it means.

Is the development parallel to the GOP's "tech gap" obsession, which was also very apparent throughout the race for chair?

Jon Henke, who advised former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson on new-media efforts last year in his brief presidential run, agrees tech savviness is only a means to an end.

"The party right now is like someone seeing their neighbor buy a shiny new truck, and wanting one, too," says Mr. Henke, 34. "But then not realizing the neighbor has something to haul."

Is Michael Steele a shiny new truck?

I think Steele's win, at least on the surface, is a positive development for the GOP - permitting a minority from a blue state who openly affiliated with moderate enclaves of the party shows some degree of willingness to reject the Rove path and take the game back to the center.  It recognizes the need to adapt after two cycles of hard losses - and in the face of dangerous weakness (see Gregg alert, permanent minority warnings, and party ID problems).

The problem, however, is whether moderates view Steele as indicative of true party metamorphosis or merely a shiny new truck (or maybe a red wheel barrow) with little to haul.  The media attention lavished on Steele seemed to do more to raise him to the head of the pack than anything else - which makes me question the depth and staying power of his win and its ability to create change.