This afternoon, following Michael Steele’s shaky tenure as head of the Republican National Committee (RNC), the group gathered in National Harbor, Maryland to decide whether or not to grant Steele a second term or elect a new leader. Four other candidates “have been campaigning to win over RNC members,” and many observers aren’t expecting Steele to win re-election, given his controversial tenure and the organization’s financial troubles. Indeed, hostility towards Steele is running so high that when Steele’s name was officially nominated, a member yelled “No!” from the audience of RNC officials:
NOMINATOR: I would like to ask you at this time to join me in re-electing Michael Steele so that we can together defeat Barack Obama in 2012. Thank you!
UNIDENTIFIED RNC MEMBER: No!
Steele’s decision to seek a second term took many RNC members by surprise. Under Steele’s watch, the RNC has been hampered by anemic fundraising and profligate spending, leaving the committee with $15 million of debt — including $7 million they attempted to hide from the FEC — and less than $2 million in the bank, despite a banner year for Republicans and conservative fundraising. Money woes directly impacted the RNC’s ability to do its job, forcing the party to dramatically cut back on key voter turnout programs. For more on the embarrassing scandals and gross financial mismanagement that plagued Steele’s first term, click here.