Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was talking about the party he leads when, in remarks to the committee’s governing body here Friday, he compared the GOP’s improving fortunes to the unlikeliest of individuals.
Yet six months into Steele’s term at the helm of a badly bruised party, some of the Republicans who winced through his stumbling debut suggest the chairman could just as easily have been speaking of himself.
Lifted by that which he has little control over (President Barack Obama’s return to political mortality in the polls) and that which he does (reining in a shoot-from-the-hip public speaking style), Steele has for now calmed some in a party who a few months ago were wondering if they had only compounded their many problems by electing a pol-turned-pundit.
By his own admission, the former lieutenant governor from Maryland had difficulty recognizing at first that, as chairman of the RNC, what he said on Fox News doesn’t stay on Fox News. Nor does it reflect just the views of one man.
“I’ve always been sort of a maverick in what I think and what I feel, and all of the sudden you realize you’re speaking for every Republican in the country,” Steele said in an interview with POLITICO. “It’s a different thing.”
But Steele has done more than just limit his gaffes. As the party held its summer meeting here, even some of the chairman’s most outspoken critics seemed to have their feathers smoothed. After a listless start, a capable staff has been brought into the RNC, and they are taking a more aggressive tack in holding Democrats accountable. And Steele has been defter on procedural matters, watering down firebrand resolutions that would have officially portrayed the opposition as Socialists while accepting a “good governance” effort to improve oversight on internal RNC spending.
Please read the wider article here RNC Chairman Michael Steele finds his voice – Jonathan Martin – POLITICO.com.