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.

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

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