Ed Driscoll

Michael Steele: One and Done as RNC Chairman?

Fox News is reporting that “RNC Chairman Steele to Announce He Won’t Run for Second Term as Chairman:”

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is expected to announce he will drop out of the highly contested race to keep his post, sources told FoxNews.com on Sunday.

Fox News has confirmed Steele sent an e-mail to committee members Saturday night with the subject line, “conference call.”

In the note, he asked members to join him “for a private conference call” Monday evening.

Republicans picked up 63 seats in the House, narrowed the gap in the Senate and picked up 19 state legislative bodies in the November midterm election, but pressure has been mounting all year for Steele to step down from the position.

As Ryan Mauro noted in a PJM article at the start of the month:

In July, Bill Kristol and other Republicans called on Michael Steele to resign after he criticized the war in Afghanistan in a reckless and mind-bogglingly stupid fashion. The blunder began with three errors in two sentences: “This was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in,” Steele said. Needless to say, the war began under Bush and to say it wasn’t “actively prosecuted” means that he was criticizing Bush without even realizing it.He then continued to make a remark that is only a notch or two below Harry Reid’s irresponsible declaration that the Iraq war was “lost.” He said, “Well, if he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the only thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan, alright, because everyone who’s tried over a thousand years of history has failed.” Steele was so eager to criticize Obama yet so ignorant that he actually ended up criticizing Bush (again, without realizing it) for sending combat forces into Afghanistan.

In his post at Ace of Spades that we linked to earlier today, Gabriel Malor wrote that he supported Steele “when he sought the position, but there is no denying that his failures have been substantial and there is no reason to expect him to do better in the future. The RNC can most definitely do better.”

Update: Steve Green adds:

As I argued on Trifecta last week, the RNC ought to be restructured (and considerably slimmed down) into talent scouting and recruiting organization.The future is: Citizen-candidates garnering their own national support via the internet. The days are over, of the RNC deciding who wins, who loses, and how much money they get. The new RNC chair ought to recognize that, and act accordingly.

As Steve writes, “I don’t understand why anyone wants the job, since the Internet — especially Twitter and PayPal — has made the RNC’s top-down structure mostly irrelevant.”