Republicans Maneuver to Oust Their Leader

Turning their attention to the 2012 presidential election, Republican leaders are digging in for a battle over control of the Republican National Committee, judging that its role in fund-raising, get-out-the-vote operations and other tasks will be critical to the effort to topple President Obama.

Some senior party officials are maneuvering to put pressure on Michael Steele, the controversial party chairman, not to seek re-election when his term ends in January or, failing that, to encourage a challenger to step forward to take him on.

So far, the effort has been tentative, with Mr. Steele’s most ardent opponents working behind the scenes to persuade an alternative to run against him ”” fearful that any overt moves will create a backlash in Mr. Steele’s favor among those committee members who tend to view the establishment in Washington with suspicion.

One man leading the effort is a Mississippi Republican Party committeeman, Henry Barbour, who is a nephew of Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi ”” a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, himself. Governor Barbour is said by people involved in the discussions to be among those eager to see a change at the top of the party and recently criticized party fund-raising under Mr. Steele.

2 comments to Republicans Maneuver to Oust Their Leader

  • justadood

    Can I have a balcony seat and a bag of popcorn for this?

    As insane as the Republican Party is these days, this is political theatre that would sweep the Tony awards..

    “If Stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?” — Will Rogers

  • Raja

    New York Times “The Caucus” blog, By Jeff Zeleny, November 16

    The top political strategist at the Republican National Committee resigned his position on Tuesday and delivered a scathing condemnation of the party’s chairman, Michael Steele, declaring that new leadership is urgently needed if Republicans hope to win back the White House.

    Gentry Collins, a respected party operative who served as the political director of the Republican National Committee, sent a five-page letter [PDF] to Mr. Steele and other party officials outlining what he described as systematic mismanagement of how money was raised and spent by Mr. Steele. He said that Republicans should have achieved even greater victories in the midterm campaign and that the party enters the 2012 election cycle saddled with debt.

    “Sadly, if left on its current path, the R.N.C. will not be a productive force in the 2012 campaign to deny President Obama a second term, retain our House majority and elect a Senate majority,” Mr. Collins said in an unusually blunt assessment about internal workings of the party.


    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

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