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VIDEO: Michael Steele’s First 100 Days

By ThinkProgress on May 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

"VIDEO: Michael Steele’s First 100 Days"

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Tomorrow marks Michael Steele’s 100th day as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). While many members of the GOP were hoping for a dynamic spokesman that could communicate conservative values to the American public, what they ended up getting was a gaffe machine.

Since taking office, Steele has become most known for statements about how the GOP needs to “uptick” its image with “everyone, including one-armed midgets“; how he likes to “wear my hat backwards, you know, because that’s how we roll in the Northeast”; and how he has “slum love” for Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA). ThinkProgress’s Victor Zapanta has put together a video of the highlights. Watch it:

The RNC itself also continues to struggle under Steele’s leadership. In the Daily Beast today, ThinkProgress’s Amanda Terkel writes:

According to the latest FEC reports, the RNC had just over 100 people on its payroll in March compared to more than 200 people on payroll in March 2007 and nearly 260 in March 2005, both off-election years shortly after new chairmen took over. [...]

Steele also has yet to purchase any voter-registration data, which can be key to expanding outreach and field operations. In contrast, when Mehlman took over at the RNC in 2005, he spent nearly $55,000 on voter information in his first two months in office. In 2007, then-Chairman Mike Duncan spent almost $14,000 on such data and files during the same period.

Roll Call also reported yesterday that the RNC is still trying to fill “top spots,” including that of finance director. At least one candidate has turned the job down, and the organization “had to hire a headhunter for a while to look for potential candidates for the job.”

Many Republicans have become discouraged by Steele’s first 100 days and are looking to marginalize him. Although the RNC outpaced the DNC in first-quarter fundraising, a Republican strategist told Terkel, “A lot of donors seem totally underwhelmed by Steele. Some donors are looking for another organization to donate to, and right now, for a lot of them, the [Republican Governors Association] looks like an ideal alternative.” Steele also recently agreed to sign a “secret pact agreeing to controls and restraints on how he spends hundreds of millions of dollars in party funds and contracts,” after media reports leaked about how he is spending precious RNC funds on redecorating his office.

Just remember: Although Steele’s first 100 days may seem like nothing short of a train wreck, there’s supposedly a “logic” behind all this madness. “It’s all strategic.”

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