Drill, Baby, Drill: The Backstory

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is getting most of the credit for a new slogan that sums up the Republican position on energy. But the phrase, “drill, baby, drill,” was actually used first by former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele in his speech to the Republican National Convention last Wednesday night. Later that evening Giuliani repeated the phrase in his remarks from the podium, and when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accepted the GOP vice presidential nomination, convention delegates chanted it during her speech. Since then, “drill, baby, drill,” has taken on a life of its own. Newspaper editorials are using it as shorthand for the McCain/Palin energy platform. Wired.com has announced a “drill, baby, drill” remix contest.

Photo: Fox News

Steele is African American, leaving some to wonder if he reinvented the 60’s black power phrase, “burn, baby, burn,” to advance the GOP argument for a dramatic increase in offshore oil drilling. But Steele told Feet in Two Worlds that wasn’t the case. “No, we weren’t there…(I) was not making that connection,” Steele said. Rather, according to Steele, the slogan, “literally just came to me,” as he was writing his speech. Steele continued, “I think it’s the part of me that really kind of connects to real people – how real people would view this, what’s their expectation.”

A few days ago we blogged about Steele’s comment that the GOP had, “dropped the ball,” when it comes to reaching out to African American voters. We thought you would be interested in hearing all of his remarks, so here they are:

Listen to Michael Steele interviewed by Feet in Two Worlds’ John Rudolph.

AboutJohn Rudolph
John Rudolph, Executive Producer, is a journalist with more than 40 years experience as a public radio program host and producer of documentaries, podcasts and news reports. John produced the award-winning documentary Feet in Two Worlds: Immigrants in a Global City, which was the debut for the Feet in 2 Worlds project.