After a contentious and somewhat clownish leadership battle, the Republican National Committee has finally (after six ballots) chosen its next leader: Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele.

Which gives me an excuse to share a little-known factoid: it was actually Steele — not Sarah Palin, not Newt Gingrich, not Rudy Giuliani — who coined the slogan "drill, baby, drill," which is likely to go down in history as the apotheosis of Republican intellectual achievement in the early 21st century.

I was there — it was the third day of the RNC in St. Paul; Steele was one of the introductory speakers. Prior to this the slogan was "drill here, drill now, pay less," which works for a bumper sticker but is too long and complex for the right’s base. It was Steele who freestyled the somewhat more digestible and catchy version.

It obviously caught Palin’s ear, because she repeated it in her speech, and then it took off.

Congratulations, GOP. You’ve chosen well. Or at least appropriately.