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January 07, 2010

Michael Steele: How Would I Grade Myself As GOP Chair? A "Solid B"

Oh and if you don't like the job he's doing, shut the hell up.

ďI tell them to get a life. Thatís old Washington, thatís old ways, and I donít represent that, and that kills them,Ē Steele told ABC News Radio in an interview today.

ďIím telling them and Iím looking them in the eye and say Iíve had enough of it. If you donít want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.Ē

...ďAll Iím saying is cut it out. If we have party differences that are inside the party, letís deal with them inside the party. You donít see the Democrats running around trying to beat up their national chairman or embarrass him.Ē

I guess that last point is true but then you don't see the Chair of the DNC running around bashing and embarrassing the base of his party either.

As for the whole "solid B" thing, how did a guy who coined the term "Drill baby, drill" get so out of touch with the base in just over a year? Has he missed all the mocking of Obama's B+ or does he just not have the ability to deflect a simple question like that?

It seems heavy hitter donors don't quite grade the Chairman's performance as generously as he does and are shying away from supporting the party under Steele.

They are also noticing that while the party is in a tough financial situation, Steele hasn't exactly been focusing like a laser on raising money. At least not for the party.

"I am not here to beat up on an RNC chairman," former Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson told The Times, "because I know how big and important the job is and what opportunities can be created."

"But that is just the point - under those circumstances, I do not see how a chairman can do book tours and give speeches for fees that go to him and not the RNC, which needs more money badly," said Mr. Nicholson, who was President George W. Bush's secretary of veterans affairs.

"You cannot serve two masters in that job," Mr. Nicholson said. "I think when elected, you agree to give the RNC and its mission 100 percent of your efforts."

Hari Sevugan, Democratic National Committee spokesman, said that "to the best of our knowledge, no Democratic national chairman has written a book or promoted his book while serving as national chairman."

Critics say Mr. Steele's new book, which retails for $18, is an example of using his office and title for personal gain. On the front of the dust jacket is his RNC title and a large color picture of the author.

If that's the 'new way' of running a party, I think I'd like to go back to the old one. Fast.

I Grade Myself [ace]: A good, solid A- for my two hours of link-only blogging yesterday before disappearing without notice.

What's especially irritating about Steele is that he refuses to acknowledge that his clientele -- you, me, everyone else -- actually has an opinion worth hearing on his performance.

Look, I don't think he's going to have this job for much longer. The PR problem of firing him -- "GOP in disarray," "White-dominated GOP fires first black chairman" -- is quickly being eclipsed by his bad tendency to veer wildly off-message.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:44 PM

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