Can Steele win reelection?

posted at 4:21 pm on December 14, 2010 by Allahpundit

It’ll be tough, but if he demagogues it just right…

As we have written many times before, handicapping a race decided by 168 people — many of whom are operating almost entirely out of self interest — is a tricky business.

But, Steele clearly starts from a position of relative weakness in the race. He has a committed group of supporters — 30? 40? — but no obvious plan by which to convince those undecided RNC members why they should vote for him.

(For what it’s worth, the argument Steele seemed to be putting forward last night in an interview with Greta Van Susteren was that he is in better touch with the grassroots of the party than the other candidates. “I’m much more of a street guy,” Steele said. “I love hanging out in boardrooms, but I prefer to be in neighborhoods and communities.”)

That’s his best bet, although even in that case, I’m not sure how much leverage he’d have or whether an insular Beltway institution like the RNC would feel cowed by a surge of grassroots fervor on Steele’s behalf. If Palin endorsed him and if, say, he started making dramatic promises to reorient the RNC so that it’ll favor the more conservative candidate in Republican primaries, he’d get the attention of tea partiers and bring some pressure to bear on RNC members who wouldn’t want to completely alienate the base. Maybe they’d follow the logic I laid out yesterday and decide it’s better to leave him in charge and trust conservative outside groups to pick up the managerial slack for Campaign 2012.

The problem with that thinking: The RNC typically lives and dies by big donors, and it’s big donors who are already allegedly threatening to formally boycott the organization if Steele is reelected. A big grassroots push on his behalf would only scare them further away, so unless Steele can convince the committee that they’re better off financially with small contributions from a huge pool of grassroots donors than they are with huge donations from a small pool of rich guys, there’s no incentive for committee members to play along. In fact, I doubt the pool of grassroots donors would be as huge as anyone expects now that contributing to individual campaigns is becoming more popular. If the average middle-class Republican plans on donating $200 in 2012, what’s he more likely to do — dump it all on the RNC or split it between the Republican nominee and a few candidates he really likes? If it’s the latter, as I suspect, then not even a grassroots-fueled Michael Steele candidacy provides much reason for RNC members to vote for him. And that’s assuming that a grassroots-fueled Steele candidacy is even possible. At this point, with so much at stake in the next cycle, I wonder if even tea partiers would balk at an “us vs. them” populist campaign for the chairmanship and embrace a “just win, baby” approach.

Here’s last night’s Greta interview, where you’ll find him insisting that people dislike him because of his “style” and because he insists on leaving the party’s “comfort zone” to campaign in places like Harlem. See DrewM’s answers to that. If the RNC had been a major factor in last month’s big red wave and was currently flush with cash, I’ve got a crazy hunch that his style would be A-OK.



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Yes, he can get reelected. But will he?

OmahaConservative on December 14, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Oh yeah, the RINO’s in the GOP will put him right back in, guarenteeing a loss in 2012.

flytier on December 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM

These 168 people best know, that if Steele or some other RINO loser gets in, the teaparty will be gunning for them next.

Self interest, indeed.

Rebar on December 14, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Better yet….

SARAH PALIN FOR RNC CHAIR!

http://gunmart.blogspot.com/2010/12/sarah-palin-for-rnc-chairman.html

ericire12 on December 14, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Don’t get behind RINO’s: they’re retromingent.

Akzed on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

You fire him because he is a loser- 63 and 6 in retrospect was the floor on expectations – you could have gotten anyone to do that.
Put a Haley Barbour guy in there- he is the only one that can walk and chew gum at the same time apparently.

jjshaka on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

BREAKING:

Obama Admin closes on deal with China; Sells Guam, Midway, and Johnston Atoll; says deal will pay for tax cuts

BobMbx on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

If the average middle-class Republican plans on donating $200 in 2012

They lost me, not one red cent.

OmahaConservative on December 14, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Nice guy, wrong job

Schadenfreude on December 14, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I’m sure Obama is pulling out all the stops for this guy. Without him F’n up the GOP at every turn, how will Obama get reelected.

Tommy_G on December 14, 2010 at 4:37 PM

“I’m much more of a street bondage club guy,” Steele said

Please, Steele, quit while you’re a minor nuisance.

search4truth on December 14, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Um, so how did that campaigning in Harlem go for us? Not well I would think. I’d feel better if he liked campaigning in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Speedwagon82 on December 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM

He’s Toast.

portlandon on December 14, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Cue Steele dropping race card in 3….2….1…..

search4truth on December 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Don’t get behind RINO’s: they’re retromingent.

Akzed on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Nice…

alwaysfiredup on December 14, 2010 at 4:50 PM

ya know, its scary that it could be real, and I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut the lame stream media wouldn’t report it.

BREAKING:

Obama Admin closes on deal with China; Sells Guam, Midway, and Johnston Atoll; says deal will pay for tax cuts

BobMbx on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

RealMc on December 14, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Better yet….

SARAH PALIN FOR RNC CHAIR!

ericire12 on December 14, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Not happening. Those 168 GOPers don’t want her, and she doesn’t want them.

Can we stop with this now?

Brian1972 on December 14, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Steele’s “they only want me gone because I’m black sniveling might have saved his behind the first half-dozen ultra-snafus, but it’s going to get really, really, really annoying should that be his default excuse for his poor performance/judgement/decision-making/leadership should he be re-elected.

SOMEBODY ELSE … 2010!

Jeddite on December 14, 2010 at 4:51 PM

I doubt Steele can make it.

People are coming out in favor of a couple of the challengers the last few days, some of Steele’s allies among them.

I haven’t heard anyone come out for Steele.

Brian1972 on December 14, 2010 at 4:52 PM

“In fact, I doubt the pool of grassroots donors would be as huge as anyone expects now that contributing to individual campaigns is becoming more popular…”

It’s called cutting out the middle man RINO Political Elite Ruling Class

Seven Percent Solution on December 14, 2010 at 4:53 PM

BREAKING:

Obama Admin closes on deal with China; Sells Guam, Midway, and Johnston Atoll; says deal will pay for tax cuts

BobMbx on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

did China require us to tip Guam back over before we sold it, or did they buy it “as-is”?

jus askin’

ted c on December 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Steele needs to go. He’s a nice fella, but has done nothing to deserve reelection. Filling the RNC coffers are the chairman’s main responsibility, and he has left them in dire straits.

KeepOhioRed on December 14, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Steele’s management style and his attempts to stay in place are really starting to turn him into the RNC’s version of Isiah Thomas (albeit it if Michael’s management was as bad as Isiah’s, the Republicans would have lost 63 seats in last month’s election…)

jon1979 on December 14, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Michael Steele is the only one of the lot that actually supports the Tea Party. That’s why the GOP establishment wants his black azz gone. The fact he is also good friends with Sarah Palin doesn’t help his cause one bit.

I’ll stand with Steele. He helped usher in the biggest political realignment in this country in over 100 years.

Besides the national wins, 630 democrats in state houses all across the country were sent packing. That ain’t nothing.

Of course if you just want an establishment hack, give the job to Mitt Romney. He’s exactly the kind of useless back bencher the RNC deserves if they don’t want Steele.

gary4205 on December 14, 2010 at 5:00 PM

How about this nominee!
————————–
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Kristi Noem Delivers GOP Weekly Address
=======================================

This is a perfect example of less is more, in her wonderful delivery and in her message of limited government.

U.S. Rep.-elect Kristi Noem delivered the weekly Republican address Saturday, reiterating her calls to cut spending and reduce the size of government.

The South Dakota Republican said in her remarks that she’s encouraged by President Obama’s proposal to renew the Bush tax cuts set to expire on Jan. 1.
———————————–

http://www.theospark.net/2010/12/kristi-noem-delivers-gop-weekly-address.html

canopfor on December 14, 2010 at 5:00 PM

BREAKING:

Obama Admin closes on deal with China; Sells Guam, Midway, and Johnston Atoll; says deal will pay for tax cuts

BobMbx on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

BobMbx:*******UPDATE**********,the handing over of the
Islands,will occur after,6 months of retesting
new Atomic Bombs,er nuclear!!!!!!!!!(Snark).
=======================================================

Trinity & Beyond – The Atomic Bomb Movie pt. 1/5 documentary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeayzvmAdxw

canopfor on December 14, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Not worthy.

upinak on December 14, 2010 at 5:06 PM

TEAM RED should really consider shutting down this particular reactionary experiment. It’s one of several that the GOP has pulled in the last decade or so that just scream of “me too!-ism”, to, for some completely unfathomable reason, to look like TEAM BLUE in various aspects. They can do it, so, hey, so can we.

And reactionary is not leadership. It’s following. A trait that Mr. Steele has exhibited consistently during his tenure as RNC Chair. He’s played a catchup game, and a slovenly one, at that. No one should be under any illusion that the results of the mid-terms were due to anything other than the excesses of TEAM BLUE, and the public backlash to same.

True, politics is mostly appearance and PR, and it may have seemed an astute move to avoid having a ‘stodgy old white guy’ as the face of the Party. But not with a public that is paying particularly close attention, and are more interested in substance and performance than photo ops, or trying to placate a commentariat that is going to bash TEAM RED regardless, even if the talking head they put forth is a Koala Bear (and who doesn’t like those?)

Time to thank Mr. Steele for his dedication to the team, and insist that he step aside, gracefully, if possible.

Wind Rider on December 14, 2010 at 5:15 PM

It was us TCs that wanted him in originally because he was the most conservative choice.

Valiant on December 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

a race decided by 168 people — many of whom are operating almost entirely out of self interest

And there’s the problem. Any viable chance Steele has to be reelected proves that the RNC is a hidebound good ole boys’ club looking out for itself rather than the party and nation. And the only way to resolve that problem is to apply enough heat so that they understand that their self-interest lies in serving the greater interests of the people

paul1149 on December 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

ALLCON,
SOMEBODY GET ME A LIST OF THE 168 AND I PROMISE I WILL CALL EVERYONE OF THEM THAT I CAN,WILL MINCE NO WORDS.
IT IS GONNA SNOW,SCHOOL IS OUT,I HAVE THE TIME
Thank You,J.R.

Col.John Wm. Reed on December 14, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Don’t get behind RINO’s: they’re retromingent.

Akzed on December 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM

LMAO.

Jaibones on December 14, 2010 at 7:36 PM

First of all, the RNC is impotent not because of its leadership, but because it’s basically the party arm of the bluebloods. Was the RNC helping NY-23 way back when? Why no, they backed the RINO.

The RNC isn’t getting money because it is still controlled by the people who are part of the problem. Whatever Steele’s flaws, he is not among that group of degerate losers who got dragged kicking and screaming to 63-6 pickup and are STILL WHINING!

BKennedy on December 14, 2010 at 11:34 PM

I’m much more of a street guy,” Steele said. “I love hanging out in boardrooms, but I prefer to be in neighborhoods and communities.

Shame on you Mr. Steele. You got to stay out of the media. You are developing into our Joe Biden. GOTV effort failed this past election cycle. Also fund-raising was one of you major responsibilities. You failed on all fronts.

It is time to say goodbye.

antisocial on December 14, 2010 at 11:40 PM

still looking for names to call.Thanks.

Col.John Wm. Reed on December 15, 2010 at 10:08 AM