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Steele Will Go

Not surprising, efforts are underway to dislodge Michael Steele from the RNC chairmanship. The New York Times, quite accurately, reports:

Some senior party officials are maneuvering to put pressure on Michael Steele, the controversial party chairman, not to seek re-election when his term ends in January or, failing that, to encourage a challenger to step forward to take him on.

During the summer months, RNC committeemen made a calculated judgment: leave Steele in place for now, run a midterm campaign essentially without his help, and deal with him after the election. A veteran Republican on the national committee confided to me during the summer that there was general agreement that Steele would have to go.

Now, it is true that the Republicans managed a historic victory by virtue of Tea Party activists, a stunningly effective Republican Governors Association, a toxic president, and nearly 10 percent unemployment. But this is not the ideal way to run a party or an election. Moreover, Steele’s presence is a net negative for the party, a virtual “Not Ready for Prime Time” blinking sign.

Ask GOP operatives or potential staffers on the 2012 campaign who will replace Steele and you’ll get the same answer: “Almost anyone would be better.” The “who” is up for debate, but the question as to whether Steele should go, I would suggest, is virtually settled. Steele’s RNC operation may have demonstrated that national parties are not as critical as they once were, but the GOP isn’t about to test that proposition in a key presidential race. The Dems may decide to keep Pelosi and Reid, but be prepared to see the Republicans shed their deadwood, starting with their hapless chairman.


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