Is Steele Now Politically Toxic?

2010 April 12
by drdog09

Judge for yourself —

Few wealthy potential contributors to the RNC major-donors event showed up. Worse, some of his party’s best-known headliners declined his invitation to address his RNC fundraising events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Windsor Court Hotel, within easy walking distance of the Hilton Riverside Hotel, where the SRLC was holding its events.

Hardly any high-profile Republicans at the SRLC, including Mr. Villere, were seen anywhere near Mr. Steele whenever photographers were in the vicinity. One senior GOP official was heard to comment to another, “You never know when a picture with Steele will come back to haunt you.”

Those who turned down Mr. Steele’s invitations included Mr. Perry, Mrs. Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana.

Of the two other SRLC invitees, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent a video greeting instead, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had earlier declined because of what he said was a scheduling conflict.

Major donors’ contributions are crucial because the RNC has to spend anywhere from effectively zero (a telephone call) to 30 cents (a donors’ event) to raise each dollar from them, while each small-dollar contributions from direct-mail solicitation, phone banks and other means cost from 50 to 70 cents to raise.

At least one high-dollar event Mr. Steele had scheduled for New Orleans had to be canceled for lack of interest, Republican officials said. By the time Mr. Steele took the podium as the SRLC’s windup speaker Saturday, the Hilton ballroom audience had thinned out considerably.


Keep in mind that —

  • One staffer has been fired due to the night club incident with just cause.
  • One major volunteer key to access to high dollar donors has resigned. While another has left due to what in their view might be politely called unprofessional operations on the part of the RNC.
  • The high profile dollar spending continues.
  • Steele tried both the race card and the ‘they do it too’ defense to apparently no effect.

The RNC has two tough choices. Either discharge Steele and find a replacement pronto. Or keep Steele, but on a tight leash and get some shadow governance underneath him with clout to right this ship.

15 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 April 12 2:36 pm

    “Those who turned down Mr. Steele’s invitations included Mr. Perry, Mrs. Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana.”

    Very little RINOLOGY there folks!

  2. 2010 April 12 2:40 pm

    The saga continues.

  3. 2010 April 12 2:43 pm

    “keep Steele, but on a tight leash and get some shadow governance underneath him with clout to right this ship. ”


  4. 2010 April 12 2:53 pm
    bc3b permalink

    The #1 thing Steele has going for him now is his race. If any honky had half Steele’s screw-ups, he’d/she’d be gone.

  5. 2010 April 12 2:54 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “Could Obamacare Survive a Fiscal Crisis?

    Posted by Gerald P. O’Driscoll

    Over at Think Markets, NYU’s Mario Rizzo asks how Obamacare might be repealed. He focuses on the fiscal brawl that will occur when the Medicare cuts must be implemented. Let’s take a look at another fiscal scenario.

    The Greek debt crisis is just the leading edge of a global debt crisis in developed countries. It is not Greece that matters to the rest of the European Union, but the precarious position of other highly indebted EU members: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain. Fiscally sound Germany could bail out Greece, but not all the others. A Greek default (likely if not inevitable) will fracture the EU and the contagion surely would spread to the United States.

    The result will be what I call a Leninist moment. Lenin famously observed that a situation must often get worse before it can get better. He had a different idea of what better would be than do libertarians, but his insight is nonetheless correct.

    The resulting fiscal crisis in the United States would finally force a serious debate over fiscal discipline. Not even eliminating all defense expenditures would close the budget gap. Could Obamacare survive the crisis?”

  6. 2010 April 12 2:57 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “A Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs study found that gasoline prices would need to hit seven dollars a gallon to meet the administration’s carbon cuts in the transportation sector.

    Higher gas prices lower employment, income, and spending, and Americans will have to dip into their savings to pay for higher gas prices. Heritage economist Karen Campbell details these effects in her paper, “How Rising Gas Prices Hurt American Households.” Her paper shows that if gasoline prices were to increase by two dollars per gallon over the course of a year, employment would fall by 2.1 million jobs. Whether your bullish or bearish on the prospects of an economic recovery, one thing’s for certain: action to curb CO2 emissions and thus raise energy prices won’t help.”

  7. 2010 April 12 3:12 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Gasoline prices have already hit the equivalent of $9/gallon in Great Britain.

  8. 2010 April 12 3:15 pm
    mpthompson permalink

    I honestly can’t identify what has changed with the GOP/RNC leadership between 2003 and 2010. Anyone?

  9. 2010 April 12 3:29 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #7 Goes right along with creating government dependecy thru economic stagnation/empoverishment….

    Controling movement of the popultation is big on the statist agenda….

    Obama will price you out of your cars and freedoms!

  10. 2010 April 12 3:33 pm
    drdog09 permalink

  11. 2010 April 12 4:11 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink


  12. 2010 April 12 4:14 pm
    janzam permalink

    Option #2 is the best — to keep Steele but monitor him more closely. It would cause too much of a stir and distraction to fire him. The focus should be on the 2010 elections, and funneling donations directly to them which is how it is going anyway. The national committees for both parties are becoming almost too burdensome with all the internal political strife.

  13. 2010 April 12 4:19 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Jan, the latter option would be my preference as well. The one trick is, would Steele bolt under those conditions? Then you are back to finding a replacement at not the best of moments.

  14. 2010 April 12 5:23 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink


  15. 2010 April 14 10:49 am
    wildernesstea permalink

    Re: Steele:

    Plus sign: winning elections with wide margins (VA, NJ, etc)
    Plus sign: fundraising well for a party with just about zero power in Washington
    Neutral: the frivolous spending I honestly don’t know enough of the details but it seems to me that was more of a gotcha thing and not a sign of systematic problems.
    Negative: The thing that really bugged me was playing the race card. I can’t support that!
    Negative: Based on his wide range of public statements sometimes hard to know what he really stands for.

    At the end of the day, I’m open either way. If he stays on, fine, he’s doing a good job on money and elections. If he’s out, race card has no place. And he shouldn’t have done that.

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