The internal politics of the Republican National Committee are about as obscure as those of the Politburo of old. (Hard to believe you can say that, but it's true: We're nearly into the third post-Soviet decade.) Anyway, the point is: I have no idea what's going on inside RNC HQ today except that a new chairman , and Louis Vuitton Bags Announcements, September 23, 2009 - The, well, that's that.
I do want to say a few words about current RNC chairman Michael Steele. He's about to lose his job, and for many in the party that can't happen a moment too soon. His tenure has undeniably been marked by gaffe after gaffe, and he leaves the committee in fairly dire financial circumstances about $20 million in debt. Steele's efforts to expand the Republican brand were embarrassing at times (calling for an "off the hook" effort to attract blacks to a new "hip-hop" GOP; those ).
But it's important to note several things that paint him in a better light.
One is that during Steele's tenure, the Republican party made an extraordinary recovery in Congress. In 2008 even the most serious pundits were declaring the party dead for a generation. Now it's the Democrats who look moribund. Unreasonable as it would be to give Steele all the credit, it would be just as unreasonable to give him none. Second, Steele served during a period when the popular conservative message was not change and expansion, but retrenchment and purgation. He wanted to make the party stronger by appealing to a broader base; the strategy that ultimately stuck was to make the party stronger by booting out all those who questioned its narrow ideology. The man and the strategy are fundamentally incompatible, and so I expect that Steele would be losing his job today even if he hadn't made all those public stumbles.
As a last point, I just want to emphasize that Steele, as a person Louis Vuitton Online, is affable, funny Sale Louis Vuitton Bags Outlet, self-deprecating, and never anything less than his genuine self. And I think as time goes by the party will miss having those qualities in its top unelected leader. The new candidates decidedly do not: Reince Priebus, the ideological right's favorite, is as cheerless as a deacon, and the other three are tactical operators, not public champions. Steele would have served himself and his party better if he'd had more of those three's qualities. But as an ambassador for the party as a guy who met, face-to-face, literally thousands of Americans and became for them their human connection to it he's going to be hard to match. Those intern photos made him look a fool. But look at the smiles on the interns' faces. They're delighted to be there. In the long term, delight in belonging not bitterness and anger is what keeps a party together.