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Giving Up On Michael Steele

John Hawkins is giving up on Michael Steele:
Right off the bat, Steele did some things I liked. He cleaned house at the RNC. He hired some really savvy new media people who did -- and are still doing -- some great work to bring the RNC into the 21st century technologically.

But Steele also made some dumb comments, particularly about Rush Limbaugh, that irritated people and worse yet, reinforced the stereotype that he wasn't someone who could be trusted by conservatives.

Still, I stuck with Steele. My reasoning was that he was still in transition from being a commentator to working the RNC and he was having a little trouble adjusting. That could happen to anyone, right? Except in Steele's case, he's still semi-regularly saying dumb things, which means it's just something that comes with the package, not a case of learning the job. That's a big problem in that one of Steele's primary strength is supposed to be that he can be a great spokesman for the party. It's kind of hard to be spokesman when you're sticking your foot in your mouth every five minutes.

Then there was Steele's book tour. Granted, Steele's not the first RNC Chairman to do a book. But, after people were decidedly unhappy with Mel Martinez for being a part-time chairman and they were very unsure about Steele, going on a book tour didn't look good. It made Steele look like he was more interested in promoting himself than promoting the party.
I see Hawkins' point. And largely, I agree with what he is saying. I, too have been very critical of the current RNC Chairman.

However, I think that, given the position in which the Republican party is right now (minority party in both houses of Congress and opposition party to the White House), changing leaders in a mid-term election year is likely not be the best idea.

As much as Steele (and others in the leadership) have stepped in metaphorical poo, what the RNC needs right now is continuity. Switching-up top-brass would send a message of desperation to both party members and (more importantly) big-wig donors.

...not to mention the message that would be sent to Democrats. They, not unlike sharks, will be able to smell the blood-in-the-water and would no doubt use that talking point to their advantage.