Did Steele play the race card in the RNC chair race?

posted at 9:30 am on November 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Daily Caller accuses Michael Steele of playing the race card and hinting that racism might be the motive if he gets bounced from his position as RNC chair after a historic midterm victory.  But the report by Jonathan Strong makes a weak case for it when the actual interview is heard:

Embattled Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele has often turned to the subject of race in his nearly two-year tenure.

But last week, in a radio interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, Steele ratcheted up the rhetoric, appearing to agree with Sharpton that if he is not reelected as RNC chairman, it will be because the GOP is racist, making “the brother take the fall.”

Sharpton said he couldn’t believe Republicans would even think of ditching Steele as RNC chair.

“You’d be the first brother run out after doing a good job. It would be interesting to see them have a historic win, and the brother takes the fall. Usually the brother takes the fall when they lose,” Sharpton said.

“You’re right. Well, you know, that’s going to be remain to be seen,” Steele said. “I get it. There are folks who are not exactly thrilled with my style of leadership. As I said recently, ‘they’ll get used to it.’”

This comes from an interview last Friday between Steele and Sharpton, the entirety of which is in this YouTube.  Steele starts the interview “on message,” noting as many other Republican leaders did that the election wasn’t an endorsement of Republicans as much as it was the rejection of the Democratic agenda.  He also insisted that compromise couldn’t involve more spending and debt, but that the GOP had plenty of ideas on how to address the issues of the day. Sharpton asked Steele whether the election of two black Republicans to the House meant that they would join the Congressional Black Caucus, and Steele said they should, in order to challenge the CBC’s orthodoxy. Steele also defended the expansion of the GOP’s outreach, while agreeing that more needed to be done.

It was actually going pretty well, until the exchange that occurs at the eight-minute mark:

Sharpton never used the word “racist,” and Strong correctly leaves it out of the quote, but his second paragraph makes Sharpton sound as if he made that argument explicitly and Steele’s “You’re right” was in response to it.  In listening to the actual interview, Sharpton made his accusation slightly less explicit than making that flat-out accusation.  The “You’re right” obviously refers to Sharpton’s observation that political parties don’t usually fire their leader after big wins, which Steele makes clear by talking about the conflicts created by his “style of leadership” as the cause of his political difficulties within the RNC.

Steele has made some gaffes on his own without help from the media, and there has been plenty to criticize about Steele’s performance.  This isn’t one of those, though.  Sharpton tried playing the race card; Steele didn’t take the bait.

Steele has bigger problems this morning anyway, with popular Republican organizer Saul Anuzis declaring his candidacy for the chairmanship:

Former Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis on Friday will become the first major candidate to announce a bid to chair the Republican National Committee.

In a letter being sent to national committee members, Anuzis says the decision to challenge incumbent chairman Michael Steele did not come easy, given his close relationship with Steele. But, he says, the only way for Republican to win back the White House is to get the RNC on the right path.

“The overriding challenge we face is winning back the Presidency in 2012 and we will not accomplish that objective unless there is dramatic change in the way the RNC does business,” Anuzis wrote to members. “We can’t rely on our wins in 2010 to carry us to success in 2012. We also can’t win in 2012 unless the RNC re-establishes itself as the powerful force that put us over the top in 2000 and 2004.

Anuzis hits directly at Steele’s performance, making the argument that the big victory came despite Steele rather than because of him — and that it could have been bigger:

The pitch also focuses on what might have been had the RNC been as big a player in the party’s get-out-the-vote operations as it had been in earlier years.

“Thankfully, in 2010 a group of alternative organizations emerged to help fill the void created by the RNC’s shortage of resources. They found support from many RNC major donors who had lost faith in the RNC. We need these groups and their support, but they can’t be expected to replace the RNC in a presidential year. We must rebuild the trust with our party’s major donors and bring them back to the table.”

“Think about your own state. Did some terrific Republican candidate work their hearts out, yet fall short by a handful of votes on Election Day? Now ask yourself: if the RNC had properly funded the Victory program in your state, would that candidate have been a winner? Would that candidate have benefited from a robust 72-hour program with ground troops sweeping in for the final weekend?” Anuzis wrote to committee members.

If Steele loses, it will be because of the lack of resources and direction the RNC had and the need to strengthen its position ahead of the 2012 elections.


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Why would he allow himself to be interviewed by Sharpton in the first place?

Disturb the Universe on November 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Haven’t you heard, Ed? Michael Steele, the Maryland centrist conservative tea-party darling, is being thrown out by that devious bogeyman Karl Rove, who wants to return the party to compassionate conservatism and dump on Christine O’Donnell some more or something.

Steele’s efforts are becoming more and more transparent here, as he desperately jockeys for re-election. If he had the good of the party in mind, he wouldn’t run for re-election and spare us a divise intraparty fight.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I hope Steele is challenged, but I hope people just don’t dump on him… he hasn’t been all bad…

The guy before Steele was “able to raise money”, etc, etc yet nobody knew who he was… I don’t like that at all…

ninjapirate on November 12, 2010 at 9:39 AM

A lot of people don’t care for Steele not because he is a brother, sister, cousin, best friend, black, Hispanic, or any other group. It’s because he has a knack for saying really stupid things occasionally.

Hummer53 on November 12, 2010 at 9:40 AM

“You’d be the first brother run out after doing a good job. It would be interesting to see them have a historic win, and the brother takes the fall. Usually the brother takes the fall when they lose,” Sharpton said.

I thought the brother had been disowned for being an Uncle Tom.

Disturb the Universe on November 12, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Won’t it seem odd to fire the guy who “lead” the big victory? Although I do remember reading that the Republicans took out loans for the election. If it was the RNC, I can see the problem. In my opinion the NRSC did more to run off voters than Mr. Steele.

Cindy Munford on November 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Meanwhile, a group of prominent Republicans led by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are searching for a consensus candidate capable of defeating Steele. Though they have not settled on a challenger, and in fact are unlikely to find a consensus choice, strategists who both support and oppose Steele say coalitions are forming now to deny Steele a second term.

So I guess we want “compassionate conservative” Rove leading the Republican Party?

Results are what matter: Conservatives had an amazing success this election. And some people, Rove especially, don’t like this one bit.

So what do they do? Try to kick a conservative, Steele, from the RNC chairmanship.

As far as the race card goes: Do we really want to keep the white “moderate” Republican country club establishment? Remember how Rove and company wanted white “moderate” Crist over true conservative Rubio and did everything they could–just like the Democrats–to destroy Rubio’s primary challenge?

And now these same country club “moderates” and “compassionate conservatives” want Steele gone. These are the people we want running the Republican party?

Gabe on November 12, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Mr. Steele is simply a gaffe machine, and if he didn’t use the race card in this particular instance, he hasn’t been shy in the past to play it when it suited him.

He has to go.

Rebar on November 12, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Cindy Munford on November 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM

The RNC doesn’t exist for the benefit of voters. It’s all about gathering money and spending it wisely. The only reason Rove and Gillespie’s groups did so well is that they drew in the big donors that Steele had driven away with floods of negative attention.

He also failed to allocate money to turnout efforts, which is why you’re seeing us lose almost every single nail-biter. Goodbye, Jesse Kelly, Joe Miller, Tom Emmer, Ken Buck, Tom Foley, and yes, Sharron Angle. That’s political malpractice, and Steele bears much repsonsibility for that.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 9:48 AM

The last 5 chairs only lasted 2 years.

WoosterOh on November 12, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Sorry, but I won’t give a dime to the RNC until someone other than this jackass is leading it. He says stupid, insulting things and is not someone I want to represent me. It is only a matter of time before he drops the race card for real.

That’s my 2 cents.

search4truth on November 12, 2010 at 9:51 AM

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 9:48 AM

I tend to give to the candidate and the only reason I pick on the RNSC specifically is because they tried desperately to give us Charlie Crist here in Florida. I admit, Mr. Steele appears to be inept but I thought I was being harsh.

Cindy Munford on November 12, 2010 at 9:52 AM

I hope Steele is challenged, but I hope people just don’t dump on him… he hasn’t been all bad…

The guy before Steele was “able to raise money”, etc, etc yet nobody knew who he was… I don’t like that at all…

ninjapirate on November 12, 2010 at 9:39 AM

There’s nothing wrong with the general public not being familiar with the RNC Chairman. One of Steele’s problems is that he thinks his job is to be a talking head. It’s not. Every national tv spot that he takes allows the liberal media to take a shot at him, many which seem to hit the spot because he is gaffe-prone and detracts from what he should be doing. It also takes time away from real candidates or Republicans in office who could be in those spotlights.

slickwillie2001 on November 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I will say this, Mr. Steele was one of the first to realize the strength of the Tea Parties and was willing to co-opt them. I still think a lot of insiders wish that they would go away.

Cindy Munford on November 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Steele is the political equivalent of a baseball middle-relief pitcher; he was effective in a tough situation (the 2008 elections), but will be pulled for a pinch-hitter on offense (fundraising, re-making the Tea-O-P, and boots-on-the-ground grassroots activity.) We should thank him… and he should hand over the ball to polite applause.

As for Rove: Sean Hannity calls you ‘The Architect.” But, let’s be honest: you were the Alter-Axelrod that led President Bush down the path of liberal conservatism (high spending, not-small government, etc.) That, in turn, gave us Obama… and all of his legislation that needs to be undone. Stop making it look like you are leading a Tea Party parade… when, in reality, your are being run out of town by them.

VastRightWingConspirator on November 12, 2010 at 9:58 AM

90% of citizens never heard of Kathleen Sabellius or Van Jones. Do you think 1% of the country knows who Steele is or where he works?

Akzed on November 12, 2010 at 9:59 AM

So when you accuse a black man falsely of playing the “race card” … does that mean the accuser is actually the one playing the “race card”?

I support Steele – and do you know why? Because he’s now firmly in the grassroots “Tea Party” camp. He’s been ostracised by the elites and now they want to replace him with thier “establishment” pick.

Steele had a rough first term – a dismal one actually. But we can make him a success in his second term.

There are three Castles …

1. NRSC (Controlled by the establishment – and John Cornyn – who is BY FAR a more dismal failure than Steele is … will be attempting to hold on to this).

2. NRCC (Again – controlled by the establishment – and that’s not going to change.)

3. RNC (I’m convinced the Tea Party has this one).

Fire Steele and the grassroots loses a “castle” – it’s as simple as that.

What Steele needs to do – is play the “establishment” card – and let people know that the establishment wants him gone because he’s too close to the grassroots now.

That’s the card he needs to play.

And I’m waiting for Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint to come to his aid also – but they won’t do that unless Steele is in deep trouble and really needs them.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Who died and gave Rove the job of looking for a replacement for Steele? Anyone he supports would be a “I take my orders from RINOs” kinda guy. Steele’s real mistake was to embrace the Tea Party and defend O’Donnell – that probably didn’t sit too well with the RINOs. He didn’t pass the RINO litmus test and the RINOs need to keep control of the RNC in order to do all they can to stop Palin from getting the nomination.

Done That on November 12, 2010 at 10:02 AM

The RNC has become “The Michael Steele Show” and the ratings have hit bottom. Because he’s got so much face time on TV etc, he makes huge gaffes and has to spend more face time backtracking. The RNC is about broad policy politics, raising money by schmoozing big donors, recruiting candidates and planning and executing strategy.

Steele has failed at this but his “style” has made him more recognizable than most of the GOP leadership in congress.

cartooner on November 12, 2010 at 10:03 AM

The GOP’s Barry-lite experiment did not work either.

bayview on November 12, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Abandoning the GOTV effort in the last few days before the midterms should be the nail in the coffin for Steele’s tenure at chairman. He made that call for one of two reasons. Either the RNC didn’t have sufficient funds to carry it out which means he failed to fulfill his primary duty as its chairman. Or he thought it was a waste of time which means he’s in over his head and has no clue what he’s doing.

Either way, he needs to get run. Any Republicans and conservatives afraid of being labeled racist by the media for dumping the first black RNC chairman after 2 years can easily counter those smears with the electoral success of Col. West, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, and Brian Sandoval.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Anuzis hits directly at Steele’s performance, making the argument that the big victory came despite Steele rather than because of him — and that it could have been bigger:

That is ridiculous.

Has anyone researched this Saul Anuzis? He is the scariest person we could have leading the RNC. He is a “moderate” RINO who is from Michigan and consistently supported and pandered to Muslim extremists.

So when you accuse a black man falsely of playing the “race card” … does that mean the accuser is actually the one playing the “race card”?

True. It seems like Ed is the one playing the race card here, not Michael Steele.

Gabe on November 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Either way, he needs to get run. Any Republicans and conservatives afraid of being labeled racist by the media for dumping the first black RNC chairman after 2 years can easily counter those smears with the electoral success of Col. West, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, and Brian Sandoval.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM

All of them who won with Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC, not Karl Rove, who is trying to take back the RNC for the “moderate” Republican country club establishment.

Gabe on November 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Did Mike Steele totally wast EIGHT MILLION dollars on the California Senate Race – and lose it anyway?

Did Mike Steele’s pick for Pennsylvania Senator switch Parties and become a Democrat?

Did Mike Steele’s pick for Florida Senator leave the Republican party and run as an indie while flirting with Bill Clinton to remove the Democratic candidate from the race so he could beat the Republican?

Did Mike Steele’s pick for Alaska Senator circumvent the Republican primary process by running as a “write in” after she lost the primary?

Did Mike Steele refuse to support the Republican nominee for Senate in Deleware – in a “leak’ the press that was made while that candidate was giving her victory speech?

NO.

Nope … that was ALL John Cornyn at the NRSC.

Is Rove looking for a “replacement” for Cornyn? Aw hell naw.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Somehow I knew this post was coming before you’d written it. Qualifications and performance are now secondary to ideology and conservative sweet-talk. For all of Michael Steele’s supposed support of conservative candidates, his failure to fund the ground game cost many of those people their races.

The people looking at Steele’s ouster are not, in large part, establishment types. Rove and Gillespie get mentioned, but they cast exactly zero votes in the race, not being committeemen themselves. And if you think that the Tea Party is somehow in control of the RNC, then you obviously have a low opinion of the Tea Party – the RNC’s efforts were laughable compared with the NRSC and RGA’s funding.

Michael Steele is not some conservative martyr, Honda. Don’t make him one. He’s really not worth your trouble.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

All of them who won with Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC, not Karl Rove, who is trying to take back the RNC for the “moderate” Republican country club establishment.

Gabe on November 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM

I’m not saying to give power back to Karl Rove or any of his cronies. But don’t tell me Steele is the best we can do.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Abandoning the GOTV effort in the last few days before the midterms should be the nail in the coffin for Steele’s tenure at chairman.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Why? The GOTV didn’t work that well during the ’06 and ’08 campaigns.

And I would say our turnout was very good this campaign compared to the last two.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM

I completely agree. Steele has mismanaged the RNC and has lost the trust of donors that money given to the RNC will be wisely spent. I know I’ve certainly quit giving to the RNC since the financial scandals early in his tenure.

CatoRenasci on November 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM

I’m not saying to give power back to Karl Rove or any of his cronies. But don’t tell me Steele is the best we can do.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:11 AM

The advantage of Steele is that he has the keys to the castle now. If we abandon him the establishment has a good chance of killing anyone we’d like to see replace him. They’ll put their own “boy” in there.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:13 AM

There’s nothing wrong with the general public not being familiar with the RNC Chairman

Even the well informed public had no idea who Mike Duncan was… that’s unacceptable…

Sorry, but the RNC chairman isn’t just for raising money and making the trains run on time…

One big reason why I’m fine with Anuzis is that he seems to understand technology and has a pretty big profile on twitter… I’m going to go on youtube and see what he sounds like…

http://twitter.com/sanuzis

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saulius-Saul-Anuzis/117948079728

I just don’t want Steele dumped on too much… he’s done a lot people aren’t crediting him for… he may have been a passionate, disorganized, gaffe machine, but that just makes him fit in with the TEA party types…

Let me tell you something, the #2 vote getter for the RNC job last time was Katon Dawson… he would have been a disaster for the TEA Party… who would you rather have on your side, a black man or a guy who got into politics over segregation and had belonged to an all-white country club? Those criticisms might not be completely fair to Katon, but you can bet the left would have constantly brought them up…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katon_Dawson

ninjapirate on November 12, 2010 at 10:13 AM

I will continue to bypass the RNC in favor of the candidate.

Please send $$$$$$$$$$ to Jon Bruning.

Help bring Judas Nelson home.

OmahaConservative on November 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM

the left would have constantly brought them up…

ad nauseam…

ninjapirate on November 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Why? The GOTV didn’t work that well during the ’06 and ’08 campaigns.

And I would say our turnout was very good this campaign compared to the last two.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM

2006 and 2008 were bad years because conservative voters were PO’d and disenchanted. But that doesn’t mean you don’t put people on the ground in key states to get folks to the polls. Some of those Senate races that the GOP lost were very close(as many were in ’06 and ’08). It’s inexcusable that resources weren’t used for GOTV.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Michael Steele is not some conservative martyr, Honda. Don’t make him one. He’s really not worth your trouble.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

No he’s no more of a “martyr” than Mike Castle was – and many of you supported him – with all his flaws because you said he had a chance to win.

I’m supporting Steele for very much the same reasons. He’s only a “Tea Party” guy because he’s fallen out of grace with the “establishment” – but whatever – he’s in our camp now and we can hold on to the RNC and not give it back to the establishment – and we can make Steele a success with the grassroots donation once we convince the voters to give again.

I’m definately not in love with Mike Steele. Check my posts on him 8 months ago – they were blistering.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:16 AM

He may not have used the race card this time, and therefore ones accusing him of it should apologize. But he certainly had no trouble using it long before the midterm election when he was frequently making gaffes (including not disputing a host for comparing the Tea Party to the Nazi party) and there was talk of replacing him then.

Frankly, I don’t feel too strongly one way or the other, but if there is a better candidate I hope he or she gets the spot. If there isn’t, let him stay in it and continue to keep his mouth shut for a while–he does much better that way.

DrAllecon on November 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM

If Steele is playing the race card, I don’t like it. I’m sick and tired of supposed victims of race crying “Racism!!!” whenever they’re criticized. Especially if that person is a proponent of Conservatism. We should be moving this conversation forward, not back fifty years. It reeks of an affirmative action mentality, and not “by the content of character.”

That said, Steele has tightened his messaging and improved. If Steele is gone, then who replaces him? Maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side… And that’s saying a lot for all Steele’s missteps.

conservative pilgrim on November 12, 2010 at 10:19 AM

ninjapirate on November 12, 2010 at 10:13 AM

I’m inclined to agree with you. After Obama’s election, choosing somebody who had attended a segregated country club would have been a public relations nightmare. So when it came down to Steele and Dawson, I favored Steele.

Anuzis is indeed the best man for the job. People smearing him (and it is a smear) as a RINO just because he hails from Michigan have serious bigotry issues. What’s more, the Michigan Republican Party had a massive banner year in 2010, snatching up just about everything in reach – and scaring the living hell out of John Dingell.

I really hope Anuzis wins. The RNC can be saved from itself if they give it the right leadership.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:19 AM

2006 and 2008 were bad years because conservative voters were PO’d and disenchanted. But that doesn’t mean you don’t put people on the ground in key states to get folks to the polls. Some of those Senate races that the GOP lost were very close(as many were in ’06 and ’08). It’s inexcusable that resources weren’t used for GOTV.

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM

We’re always going to “lose” races – even in a Tsunami-type wave. I look at the big picture here …

We took the House – with a mandate.

We destroyed the Liberal makeup of the Senate – that body will convene and be governed by a Center-Right coalition now.

We put 680 new Republicans into the state legislatures and took – I don’t even know how many governor’s mansions.

Maine is NOW a RED state.

This was a good year – hell – it was a grand slam – I don’t see things getting any better than what we did this year.

Consider the sorry state of the GOP just 20 months ago.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Where Steele messed up (again): legitimizing this charlatan by even granting him an interview.

baldilocks on November 12, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Anyone else not having their comments show up?

conservative pilgrim on November 12, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Where Steele messed up (again): legitimizing this charlatan by even granting him an interview.

baldilocks on November 12, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Exactly. Why is he even granting an interview with Sharpton? He’s only legitimizing him.

conservative pilgrim on November 12, 2010 at 10:23 AM

He may not have used the race card this time, and therefore ones accusing him of it should apologize. But he certainly had no trouble using it long before the midterm election when he was frequently making gaffes (including not disputing a host for comparing the Tea Party to the Nazi party) and there was talk of replacing him then.

DrAllecon on November 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Actually it’s worse than that. D.L. Hughley compared the entire Republican Party to Nazis in that interview, and Steele didn’t challenge him. Dude is the RNC chairman and doesn’t say a word in response to an outrageous remark like that?

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Maine is NOW a RED state.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM

You said this yesterday, and it’s just as stupid a statement now as it was then.

Maine is not a red state. Yes, we won the governor’s race, against, effectively, two Democrats. (The independent was a liberal former staffer of Jimmy Carter.) While the state legislature flipped, both of the Democratic Congressmen – one of whom was impressively corrupt – sailed to re-election.

A Republican has not won any of Maine’s districts since 1988 when Bush beat Dukakis. The only Republican senators who have managed to get elected from Maine are more liberal than regular Democrats. So stop blustering about things you wish are true. If Maine is a red state, by your logic, so is Hawaii because of Djou. So is Massachusetts because of Brown.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Er, why the hell is he on Al Sharpton’s radio show? I get the need for “outreach” and all, but come on. And as far as Steele doing a good job, I think the GOP did well on Election Day in spite of him, not because of him.

That said, the main target should be John Cornyn. It was on the Senate side where the GOP underperformed, so I’d rather see him replaced.

changer1701 on November 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Actually it’s worse than that. D.L. Hughley compared the entire Republican Party to Nazis in that interview, and Steele didn’t challenge him. Dude is the RNC chairman and doesn’t say a word in response to an outrageous remark like that?

Doughboy on November 12, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Yeah, it was going back a bit, so I was going by memory. I then recall after that gaffe and a few others, there was some chatter about replacing him when he DID then break out the race card and that talk stopped. I don’t hate the guy, and at least he seemed to eventually learn to zip it for a while, but if there is a better candidate, I hope he or she steps up for the next round…it’s going to be a doozie and we need someone really sharp for that slot.

DrAllecon on November 12, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Anyone else not having their comments show up?

conservative pilgrim on November 12, 2010 at 10:22 AM

There seems to be a delay.

OmahaConservative on November 12, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Steele can’t seem to raise money, he makes extraordinarily foolish remarks on national broadcasts, and he forgot to run the 72-hour plan in the run up to November’s elections. Why would anyone want him to stay?

Vashta.Nerada on November 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Is Rove looking for a “replacement” for Cornyn? Aw hell naw.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Maybe not Rove, but here in Texas we will be looking to replace Cornyn, but first we gotta get rid of Kay Bailey Hutchison who’s up in ’12 (Cornyn is in ’14).

BTW, the GOTV wasn’t Steele’s fault; he didn’t fire up the base and independents, Obama, Pelosi and Reid did that while the RGA,NRSC and NRCC funded it.

Honda, I know where you’re coming from and I sympathize with that view, but Steele is just a populist politician, not a true believer. The RNC should stay in the GOP “establishment”, that’s the only entity the big donors trust when it is run intelligently. If the Tea Party “takes over” the RNC then they will fall apart or be co-opted by it.
If the Tea Party keeps their distance and makes the GOP establishment fear it, then they can transform the Party over time by electing real small-gov’t, constitutional candidates. If the GOP bucks the Tea Party, they risk going the way of the Whigs.

cartooner on November 12, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Why would anyone want him to stay?

Vashta.Nerada on November 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Because poor Michael Steele is being persecuted by mean old Karl Rove and other RINO-types for his tea party beliefs and blah, blah, blah.

Seriously, Steele is a failure and needs to go. And the race card’s a red herring for Steele’s failed chairmanship – both his use of it and those accusing him of using it.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:39 AM

You said this yesterday, and it’s just as stupid a statement now as it was then.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Well – you can call it what you wish – but Maine is a RED state.

Governor’s Mansion – Republican
State House – Republican
State Senate – Republican

Aren’t both Senators Republican? Hmmmmmm.

The democrat in the race for governor got 19 percent of the vote.

I don’t know what score cared you’re looking at QueenGold but you ned to break yourself out of that “mentality of deficiency”.

It’s okay to celebrate the fact that Maine is RED now – really. You have permission! ;)

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:50 AM

So stop blustering about things you wish are true. If Maine is a red state, by your logic, so is Hawaii because of Djou. So is Massachusetts because of Brown.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Maine now has a Republican TEA PARTY Governor. Tee hee!

I know that ticks you off and that just pleases the hell out of me! :D

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Whether Steele played the race car here is irrelevant. He is not good at his job. He has committed more blunders than would be allowed of anyone else. I thought Republicans were against affirmative action?

echosyst on November 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM

so is Hawaii because of Djou. So is Massachusetts because of Brown.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Right – because the state legislatures in both those states are controlled by Republicans.

Please – are yo so old that you’re getting your facts mixed up? Maine is RED – not because of ONE election win – but because of dozens bro.

Thanks for Playing – you get no gold today King Gold – but try again tomorrow.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01) re-elected with 58% of the vote
Mike Michaud (D-ME-02) re-elected with 55% of the vote

Paul LePage (R) elected with less than 40% of the vote
(RiceBurnerV65, this means that Not Paul LePage got 60%.)
John McCain’s percentage in 2008: 40% (What a coincendence!)

You can read numbers, I presume, so there you have it. Maine is, at the very most, dark purple.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:57 AM

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Fine, then, Rice-burner. Is the 2012 GOP nominee going to win the state of Maine, and if so, by how much?

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 11:01 AM

You can read numbers, I presume, so there you have it. Maine is, at the very most, dark purple.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Criterion for a RED STATE …

Are Republican Candidates winning more often than Dems? Check!

Is the entire state legislature, the governor’s mansion – and most of the Congressional seats in Republican hands? Check!

Now you can sit there and say that, based on LePage’s 38% win – that Maine is still a Blue State.

And … you’re being ridiculous – since the Democrat in that race got only 19% of the vote.

You’re very eager to “minimize” the huge upset in Maine for Republicans – while you MAXIMIZE the importance of of a few well performing Democrats – who were also incumbents.

Maine now has Tea Party Governor – and a Republican Legislature.

Deal with it.

I swear – I think you’re a liberal Democrat.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Fine, then, Rice-burner. Is the 2012 GOP nominee going to win the state of Maine, and if so, by how much?

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Queenie – you’re the one with the crystal ball – you tell me! :D

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM

The problem with the NRC is that it has two functions that should be separated: fund raising and funds dispersing.

The latter can be centralized, although voters are now deciding that they know better than party structures on who to hand funds to, but it needs to be for overall party support. That is support to the State party mechanisms sent out by population and apportioned to each State party apparatus. A second venue, for candidates, should be divided equally amongst candidates after primaries: back only winners as they have won a position that needs support. These members can then either accept the funds, tell the National party to go through the State party apparatus or put it in a reserve pool for other candidates who need help. Let the candidates then vote on which amongst them need that help: those on the ground should know better than anyone what the political climate is.

This idea of being smart, wise and thrifty enough to run a money gathering and dispersing operation needs to change. Get this out of the hands of the elite in the party and devolve it as much as possible downwards. Less meddling from the National party and more power for the State and local party systems will win better than what has gone on up to the end of the 20th century. That won’t work any longer, and a new era of politics is dawning.

ajacksonian on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I swear – I think you’re a liberal Democrat.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

And I think you are detached from reality.

None of Maine’s House members are Republicans. The same is true in only six other states after 2010 – Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. Blue states all. Both of Maine’s senators are Republicans – the kind of Republicans you repeatedly denounce as not belonging to the party, and who you think would be better replaced by Democrats. (See Delaware for my evidence.)

Paul LePage never got above 50% in the polls, which means that in a two-man race he would at best have an uphill battle to win. Unless you’re planning on footing the bill for Eliot Cutler’s next run, LePage is going to have a tough re-election.

And for the record, sane people define a “red state” as one that votes more often than not for Republican presidential candidates. Not downticket backbenchers.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Well if Steele was supposed to help us with blacks, he sure didn’t. If he was to keep the RNC chugging along he hadn’t. I’m not sure why Sarah Palin supports him so much but she does. I just donate monthly to SarahPac. We’ve stopped giving to the RNC,NRSC,NRCC and the CA RNC, as far as I’m concerned they all suck. Anything Tokyo Rove is involved with I won’t support. I can’t stand the GOP establishment and hope to see them lose influence.

CCRWM on November 12, 2010 at 11:25 AM

And for the record, sane people define a “red state” as one that votes more often than not for Republican presidential candidates. Not downticket backbenchers.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 11:16 AM

When it comes to twisting logic – you fail miserably.

First of all – your argument is based on the following assumptions / facts …

1. That Maine has been a historically BLUE state.

2. That Paul LePage, a Tea Party candidate – won with only 38% of the vote.

3. That the TWO … TWO US Representatives are Democrat.

You completely ignore the following facts …

1. That while Paul LePage only got 38 percent of the vote – HE DID STILL WIN and his Democratic opponenet only got 19% of the vote – which doesn’t support your argument that Maine is blue state.

2. That while two of the representatives from that state are blue – they are the only two – and both Senators are RED.

3. That a major SHIFT occured during this election – which cannont be denied. Therefore – you cannot quote statistics from the “sad sack” years of the GOP (notably from 2006 and 2008 – which were historically bad years for us) – and apply those with any significance today. Those stats might count – but they should not be receiving the WEIGHT that you’re giving them in your argument.

4. Your argument completely ignores the fact that the Governor and State Legislature are now RED. In fact – Paul LePage being a Tea Party backed candidate AND WINNING – pretty much PROVES that a significant shift has taken place in Maine.

By your standards – a “Superbowl Winning Team” would not be a “Superbowl Team” unless said team had been to the Superbowl every time for a decade and had won by COMMANDING margins each and every time.

And that’s ridiculous.

Maine is RED.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

QueenGold Logic …

The Giants DID NOT WIN Superbowl XLII.

The Patriots did.

As you can see – Giants only scored three more points than the Patriots did – this can hardly be considered a “win”.

Additionally – the Patriots had a perfect season that year – 16 wins and NO losses. Can the same be said of the Giants? More proof the Giants didn’t win the Superbowl!

And since the Giants won the opening coin toss – they had an unfair advantage over the Patriots. This alone was more than enough to account for the three point spread at the end of the game. My crystal balls say that Patriots would have won if not for this coin toss.

I have proven perfectly that the Giants DID NOT win that superbowl – they are NOT superbowl winners.

My logic is unquestionable.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM

steele has got to go.

truecon on November 12, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Maine is RED.

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

You’re still INSANE. And CAPITALIZING words doesn’t GIVE your pretzel logic any more WEIGHT.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 12:39 PM

You’re still INSANE. And CAPITALIZING words doesn’t GIVE your pretzel logic any more WEIGHT.

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Insane? Of course I’m insane – I’m batshirt crazy!

But I can still do basic math!

HondaV65 on November 12, 2010 at 1:07 PM

This discussion is living proof of the wacky world we now live in! The democrats lost BIG! And they are forging ahead with the same leadeship. Republicans won BIG! And they are demanding Michael Steele’s head? HA!

RMR on November 12, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Fine, then, Rice-burner. Is the 2012 GOP nominee going to win the state of Maine, and if so, by how much?

KingGold on November 12, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Yes, Palin will win Maine.

gary4205 on November 12, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Goodbye Steele. Race baiters are unworthy of trust and you have done it before.

scotash on November 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM