After spending a good part of yesterday salivating over rumors that Michael Steele would give up the reins of the Republican National Committee after his term is over in January, much of the media had to eat crow when Steele announced he was in last night. So what does this mean?
Currently there are several potential opponents for Michael Steele. Saul Anuzis of Michigan, who is one of them, claims that there are four announced contenders on his website and has already done his own video:
Perhaps Saul’s biggest selling point is the vow to be a “behind-the-scenes” chairman, which isn’t exactly Michael Steele’s forte.
But the other contenders aren’t letting Anuzis, who announced first, get a large lead. Here’s Ann Wagner of Missouri making her pitch.
It’s longer and less slickly produced than Saul’s, but Ann touts her experience.
Yet perhaps the most formidable contender is a former Steele supporter and party General Counsel, Reince Priebus of Wisconsin.
Obviously both he and Wagner can point to statewide successes where Steele cannot.
Others who have announced include Maria Cino from New York, who was a former Deputy Secretary under George W. Bush and former RNC Deputy Chairman, and Gentry Collins of Iowa, who has the slickest website by far.
Regardless of how many contend for the title, it’s highly doubtful that anyone in Maryland’s RNC delegation would vote against Michael Steele. But I believe it’s up to our three representatives – particularly newly elected Chair Alex Mooney – to carefully consider the alternatives. While Steele points to his electoral successes, there are others who contend that we left a lot of races on the table nationally due to a lack of fundraising just as Alex Mooney bemoaned the close races the Maryland GOP lost for much the same reason.
We’ll never know if one of the five contenders Michael Steele bested in 2009 would have taken the GOP to further victories. But the uncertainty of whether the party is positioned well for the 2012 cycle should give pause to those who reflexively believe Michael Steele deserves another two years at the helm. In truth, his position parallels the initial position Mary Kane was in for our state Chair race – Steele is the favorite, but by no means a prohibitive one. And we saw just how that favorite ran on Saturday as the state party decided a clean break from a previous era was best.
Our delegation might be forgiven to support the favorite son once, but as subsequent ballots go on – and I’m sure there will be – they should consider the other candidates remaining as well. Remember, you are elected to represent us and to do what’s best not just for Maryland but for the Republican Party at large. Don’t sell us short.
Update: John Gizzi at Human Events has his take on the race.
2 thoughts on “He’s out, he’s in – Michael Steele looks like a contender”
Saul’s job performance is remarkable only in that, like Steele’s he has excelled at failure. Reince and Wagner both have solid victories under their belts. I also think it’s interesting, who does Saul have giving him an attaboy? Gingrich, HA! What does that say? Reince? None other than Paul Ryan…the only one at RNC with a brain AND a heart.
Saul Anuzis is an empty suit, just like Steele.
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