Time to update your resume, Mr. Steele

Michael Steele, embattled chairman of the Republican National Committee, appears to be something of a slow learner. He clearly has not grasped that his tendency to speak without thinking may be endangering his job security.

Indeed, a few days ago Chris Cillizza of WaPo's The Fix ranked various GOP heavies by order of influence. While it's just one political analyst's opinion, it seemed about right to me. (The person ranked #2 gives me serious agita.) Poor Chairman Steele was a mere #8.
8. Michael Steele: It's day 99 of Steele's tenure as the chairman of the Republican National Committee -- and he is still dealing with the fallout from his disastrous first few weeks in the office. Steele, smartly, has limited his media appearances recently but we would expect him to re-emerge soon because, despite all of his missteps, he is still potentially one of the Republican party's best spokesmen. (Previous ranking: N/A)
Who was #1?
1. Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor claims the top spot for the third straight Line. Why? He is still the Republican that is the closest the party has to the complete package. Romney can -- and does -- speak from a position of authority on economic issues and has begun to broaden his criticism of Obama to include the sphere of foreign policy as well. On the political front, Romney is unmatched -- he has kept an active presence via his Free and Strong America PAC and continues to travel the country in support of candidates. (Previous ranking: 1)
It appears that Mr. Steele is not a reader of The Fix. From CNN (via The Plank):
In an unusual move for the person tasked with being his party's top cheerleader, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is shining a light on the political vulnerabilities of one of the GOP's top figures and a likely frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination — former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.


"Remember, it was the base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life," Steele told the caller. "It was the base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism. It was the base that rejected Mitt because they thought he was back and forth and waffling on those very economic issues you're talking about."
Team Romney was not pleased.
"Sometimes when you shoot from the hip, you miss the target," said Romney spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom. "This is one of those times."

A Romney aide noted that the former Massachusetts governor won the Conservative Political Action Conference's annual straw poll the past three years, won 11 presidential primaries and caucuses, and earned 4.2 million votes by the time he left the race in February of last year.

The truth is that Mr. Steele's comments weren't actually wrong. That doesn't, however, mean they were smart.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, party leaders need to emphasize the things that people hold in common, minimize the differences, and avoid blue on blue attacks. In short, they need to be boring. Mr. Steele appears not to be cut from this mold.