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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:37 pm 
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What do y'all think? Looks like Steele is having a hard time with getting the establishment to line up with what the folks want...

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Michael Steele Abruptly Cancels On 'Top Line', Citing 'Emergency' RNC Meeting
First Posted: 01- 8-10 11:59 AM | Updated: 01- 8-10 03:19 PM
UPDATED, below.

---

Yesterday, a defiant RNC Chairman Michael Steele shot back at his critical colleagues by saying, "I'm telling them and I'm looking them in the eye and say I've had enough of it. If you don't want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way."

Is the RNC taking Steele up on the whole "fire me" offer? All eyes on Rick Klein's Twitter feed, where he reports today that Steele abruptly canceled a scheduled appearance on ABC's "Top Line", thirty minutes before air time:

Klein followed up by reporting, via Twitter: "we were told Steele was called into an 'emergency meeting' at RNC HQ and needed to cancel press."

Obviously, we'll stay abreast of this as details emerge.

Steele's 2010 has not started off well, and his critics' concerns are far from superficial. Chief among them is the RNC's current cash flow situation -- back when Steele won the chairmanship, the RNC had $23 million in the bank. But profligate spending on the 2009 off-year elections hit those reserves hard: it's reported that the RNC is down to $8.7 million. Over at the American Spectator, Phillip Klein argued that the best reason to fire Steele is that the RNC is out of cash even as it seeks to capitalize on "the best political environment for Republicans since at least 2004."

Meanwhile, the guy who's been getting rich is Michael Steele. Steele closed out 2009 under a cloud after it came to light that he'd been giving paid speeches, to the tune of $20,000 a pop. The news surprised observers in all camps, including former RNC Chair Richard Bond, who said he was "shocked" at the news. That shock's been renewed now that Steele is out promoting a new book, "Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda". The Washington Post reports today that this book, too, "caught GOP leaders by surprise."

The release of Steele's book, "Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda," surprised Republican congressional leaders, some of whom first learned of the book by watching Steele's television appearances this week, three top GOP congressional aides said Friday. The staffers would only describe their bosses' communications with the Republican National Committee chairman on condition of anonymity.

"The book came out and everybody went, 'Whoa, what happened?'" one aide said, adding that his employer, a senior House Republican, learned of the book by watching cable news.
"No one in the House or Senate leadership knew he had a book contract."

"He's freelancing," said another top congressional aide.

Compounding this are his recent statements about the GOP's fortunes going into the 2010 election. When asked by Fox News's Sean Hannity if the GOP is poised to take back power this year, Steele replied: "Not this year," adding, "I don't know yet, because I don't know all the candidates yet. We still have some vacancies that need to get filled, but then the question we need to ask ourselves is, if we do that, are we ready?"

One could see that as a fairly blunt and honest read of the field, but when it's compounded by the RNC's cash flow problems and Steele's moonlighting, it's hardly good optics. And it's maybe not the best time to be calling on those critics to "Shut up or fire me."

Ben Smith notes today that Steele told Dennis Miller this morning, "I didn't ask for, I didn't seek this job, I didn't ask for it." Smith goes back to Philip Klein, who wins the day with this retort: "Maybe I imagined receiving emails on behalf of his candidacy, and maybe this video in which Steele announces his candidacy by saying, 'I want the gig. I'm ready, I'm ready to lead this party' is an elaborate fabrication."



UPDATE: Per Rick Klein: "RNC spokesperson says Steele did cancel because of meeting at RNC at noon. not, however, an "emergency RNC meeting." for what it's worth."

And: Christina Bellantoni notes: "Steele had the time to appear on Laura Ingraham's radio show between 11 and noon, just before the publicist canceled. On the show he said he would like to be governor of Maryland."

More: CNN has a timely piece up on Katon Dawson, who was narrowly edged out by Steele for the RNC Chairmanship. Peep the kicker:

Steele has been under fire this week for predicting that Republicans will not take back the House this November, a remark that angered party strategists on Capitol Hill. Dawson said he understood that Steele was trying to set appropriate expectations, but added that he would have expressed himself differently.


"Michael Steele does have a different style, whether it's offensive or to be applaued," he said. "Would have I have said it? Probably not. But what I will say is political parties are judged by wins and loses and setting expectations. And you have to very careful about what expectations you set."

Dawson said Republicans "will come very close to taking a majority" this fall.

Courtesy of CBN White House Correspondent David Brody: Michael Steele Unplugged.

MORE UPDATE: Oh, man, now Meghan McCain's piling on!


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/0 ... 16405.html

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:36 pm 
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" If you don't want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way"

Wow, just wow.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:24 pm 
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I wish Chip Saltsman were chosen for the job instead of Steele,

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:07 pm 
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kuphoff wrote:
" If you don't want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way"

Wow, just wow.
and what, may I ask, is the "PROGRAM" as he defines it?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Quote:
This article seems a little thin on what exactly Republican donors are about upset that Michael Steele is doing:

Steele, who has been making regular television appearances, said Monday that he did not believe Republicans could win back their congressional majorities in 2010. “Not this year,” Steele told Fox News Channel, saying he was just beginning to look at races, even though the party has been recruiting candidates for many months. Believing that Steele’s off-the-cuff remarks threaten to damage the party’s brand — at the very time when Republicans are trying to capitalize on a national political environment that may hurt Democrats — senior aides to top Republican leaders confronted Steele’s staff on a conference call Wednesday.

“You really just have to get him to stop. It’s too much,” a top congressional aide said on the call, according to others on the call, adding that Steele was hurting morale among Republican members of Congress and candidates.

The call turned into “a bickering match,” aides said Thursday, as one top congressional staffer accused Steele of launching “a Republican apology tour at the exact wrong time.” Another congressional aide said Steele was appearing on television “unprepared and unknowledgeable.”


http://carrotsandsticks.wordpress.com/2 ... el-steele/

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:40 am 
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http://www.thenextright.com/ghostsoftrevor/what-up-michael-steeles-one-year-job-review

http://www.americandailyreview.com/us-world-politics/2010/1/6/an-open-call-for-the-resignation-of-michael-steele.html

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:25 am 
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I cannot help but wonder if any of the animosity from the establishment comes from Steele's comments that the TEA party movement cannot be ignored by the GOP. He stated in a couple of interviews I saw this week on FOX that if he wasn't RNC chair, he'd be heavily involved with the TEA party movement. (I'm not sure if they would invite him, just reporting what he said.)

I am curious if his insistence that the party stop shutting out those voices makes the GOP upset, especially after what happened in NY with Hoffman. I know the local & state party elite around here do not want to hear from those who are demanding fiscal responsibility, an end to corrupt party politics, accountability, etc. They do not like their authority questioned nor their power threatened - especially by those who voted them into office.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:57 am 
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They are probably mad that he said we can't win back the congress. I'm upset about it myself. We need better leadership than that. If our own chairman has no confidence in our party, then what is he the chairman for?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:36 am 
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I'm sorry but everything I've ever heard this guy say has been ridiculous. He needs to go.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Is it just me or does there seem to be a split in the Tea Party movement between those that want to start a third party and those that want to be involved in the Republican Party and change the party for the better.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:25 pm 
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BDBopper wrote:
Is it just me or does there seem to be a split in the Tea Party movement between those that want to start a third party and those that want to be involved in the Republican Party and change the party for the better.


Yes . . . it has been a problem here in Indiana (from my observations). It is the libertarian/purist ideology v. a more pragmatic approach to electing conservatives IMO.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:16 pm 
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miracleshappen wrote:
I cannot help but wonder if any of the animosity from the establishment comes from Steele's comments that the TEA party movement cannot be ignored by the GOP. He stated in a couple of interviews I saw this week on FOX that if he wasn't RNC chair, he'd be heavily involved with the TEA party movement. (I'm not sure if they would invite him, just reporting what he said.)

I am curious if his insistence that the party stop shutting out those voices makes the GOP upset, especially after what happened in NY with Hoffman. I know the local & state party elite around here do not want to hear from those who are demanding fiscal responsibility, an end to corrupt party politics, accountability, etc. They do not like their authority questioned nor their power threatened - especially by those who voted them into office.

I haven't followed Steele too closely, but I did read an article this week where he was quoted as saying that Republicans lost power in Congress because they stopped acting like Republicans - something we've all heard MH say many times. He said that we needed to elect Republicans who would be held to the party platform. I wondered when I saw this thread whether that was what had truly angered the powers-that-be.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:02 pm 
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I supported Steele when he ran for the Maryland Senate in 2006 and had high expectations for him a year ago as he sought the RNC chairmanship. But he has been different than i expected him to be. I sort of cringe when he talks because you never know when he's going to say something really, really foolish. It's like he's Joe Biden's talkative brother.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:59 pm 
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Steel has been anything but fiscally conservative with the RNC funds.
They're in pretty bad shape these days.
Party money will diminish in its relevance in determining the outcome of so many races. I need not cite the examples here, you are all aware of the candidates making a mark without the apparent blessing of the party. Not to mention the same RNC's inability to force their choices down our throats.
Charlie Crist and Trey Grayson come to mind here.
We just need not work against non-party darling candidates in the primary who are getting traction, or even beating the establishment pick as is Dr. Rand Paul In the KY Senate race. For example, Though I supported Peter Schiff in CT as he was the only candidate running there with any economic credibility, I have seen Him and Rand Paul, as well as Bill Johnson low in the polls in early summer. Rand is now the undisputed frontrunner leading Grayson by 19 points, while Schiff, much like Kentucky's Bill Johnson is stagnated all that time at 2%. We need to strategically use our funds as long as real conservatives are involved. When our preferred ones stagnate at single digit support, we need to consider conservative alternatives. Thats why I'm supporting Huck now even though I perfectly agree with Ron Paul on all issues. I might be considering funding Bill Johnson if his and Rand Paul's numbers were reversed, as their oponent, Grayson, is an Aspen Institute (just like Van Jones was), Bill Clinton voting RINO. Too much is at stake to have to have our "perfect" candidate, guaranteed losses be damned. That's why the really hardcore libertarians never totally support candidates who poll well. Many of this group are not too happy with Dr. Rand Paul's more mainstream views, such as on the gitmo prisoners, for example.
Their extreme Ideological purity to libertarian extremes delegates them to not getting their ideal candidates elected. I even understood Mike largely distinguished that group from the mainstream Ron Paul Republicans, who are more what Reagan referred to when he said that the heart of conservatism was libertarianism.
Back in 2007/8 I couldn't bring myself to say this, but today, too much is at stake.
Once Mike began pulling away in the polls, perhaps I should have given supporting him more consideration, The CFR speech and the Richard N Haas (former CFR president) appointment kept that from happening. I do have to draw the line somewhere. People like Chuck Norris, who speak well of Huck and Ron Paul, have helped get me on board today. I have even donated several times to huckpac and even to mike in 2007, but that was mainly to taunt his supporters into donating more. I am a firm believer that the more passionate you are about a candidate the more you should not be a cheapskate in your support.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:36 am 
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I am a firm believer that the more passionate you are about a candidate the more you should not be a cheapskate in your support.


So am I. I give monthly, as much as I can, to HuckPac and, if Mike runs, I will even contribute more to his campaign.

I spent part of today reviewing the 2007/2008 campaign to see just how badly, in general, Mike did vis-a-vis fundraising. I can understand why that is currently an important issue to him. Part of the fundraising problem had to do with Mike's creditibility in being electable (and that, to a great degree will be different this time should he run in 2012) but part of it was because many of his grass-roots supporters do not routinely make political donations -- and many are hard pressed to begin.

That is why I firmly believe each of us should contribute whatever little we can -- $5, $10 -- doesn't matter -- to Huck Pac to (i) demonstrate to the pundits that we stand behind our candidate with our dollars and (ii) demonstrate to Mike that, if he runs, he will have a stronger fundraising base behind him.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:49 am 
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I agree that a lot of the previous campaigns fundraising issues will resolve.
Mike was so close in early 2008 that I wonder how many who supported him actually opened up the floodgates at that critical time, and if they did not, do they now regret it enough to never let that happen again.. I knew a lot of Ron Paul folks, me included that continued to donate a lot into February, when he was still able to break $1 Million in a moneybomb.
Had he garnered the votes Mike did in the early primaries, I believe $20 Million moneybombs would not have been out of reach.
I hope Mike sees that kind of fundraising next time.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:48 pm 
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According to Republican strategist Roger Stone, who was on the Bob Grant Show today, Steele is using his RNC Chairman gig as a stepping stone to running for President in 2012. Makes sense seeing how Steele seems to be presenting himself as some kind of anti-establishment guy with his book coming out and statements he makes to the media. The job of an RNC Chairman is, quite frankly, to be a party guy and pump up his party's brand image to the voters, not go off on some purity test mission. I never thought he was the right guy for the job and he's proving that to be more true the longer he's on the job.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Each time I've seen or heard Steele in an interview, I've appreciated that it seems like his main theme is that the Republican party has a good, conservative platform that should be stood on by those running for and holding office.

Sometimes, I get kind of pumped up just listening to him. Hopefully, he can refrain from making Bidenesque comments in the future. Going through as many interviews as a person like him does is very challenging and a person is sure to mess up occassionally.

Overall, I think he's doing alright. The job that he's doing is nearly impossible. The majority of Americans are apathetic toward politics and aren't even aware that Party Platforms exist, yet they think that they know it all. I'm sure that he does a lot of things behind the scenes that we are not aware of, which, due to their strategic nature, cannot be revealed to the public. Who knows if he had something to do with Gov. Schwarzenegger's recent public statements about pulling back his support on the so-called health care bill? We've certainly seen some amazing victories in the northeast with Steele in charge. We Republicans are supposed to be more responsible than Democrats about donating without having to get our emotions prodded. We're supposed to be able to see the big picture a lot better than the Democrats. We're supposed to know the big difference between the 2 party platforms, contribute accordingly, and explain to others why it's important. If the majority of us did that, we would have conservatives controlling all branches of the US government. I think that Steele is trying to say, lately, that the Republican Party will be ready to lead when we separate the wheat from the chaff and boldly stand on solid principles, rather than compromising so much and trying to win by being Democrat-Lite. I think that he's sincerely trying to do the more difficult, underlying task, because to do otherwise does not really accomplish anything in the long run. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I think. I'm not saying that he's perfect - he won't be walking on water anytime soon, but I just think that he's doing about as good as conservatives could hope for. We could certainly have someone worse - I don't ever want one of Romney's people getting in there or someone like Meg Whitman or Kathleen Sebelius.

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