In a memo to her fellow RNC members yesterday, Dr. Ada Fisher said that their newly elected chairman, Michael Steele, is “’eroding confidence’ in the GOP and that members of his transition team should encourage him to step aside.” She reiterated her argument on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last night. Fisher’s memo echoed reports in Politico that anonymous “key party leaders” are beginning to feel that “the GOP has made a costly mistake.”
This morning, Steele indirectly responded to the call for his resignation as he guest-hosted Bill Bennett’s conservative talk radio program Morning in America. A caller said to Steele, “I hope that Paul Bagalla and Emanuel and Carville don’t convince you to resign your position.” Steele responded, “Not me baby!”:
STEELE: It’s been a good week, it’s been an instructive week. That’s really what I take away from a week like this. … The instruction is particularly for republicans is that you need to stay focused, other wise you get scapegoated. […]
CALLER: I hope that Paul Begala and Emanuel and Carville don’t convince you to resign your position.
STEELE: Aww, trust me. Not me Baby! Nuh-uh. Not happening. No way, no how!
If this has been a good week for Steele, we’d hate to see a bad one. He began the week calling Rush Limbaugh’s radio show “ugly” and “incendiary” last weekend. By Monday — following the lead of other Republicans who recently crossed Limbaugh — Steele walked back the comments in a public apology. The next day, Steele went so far as to imply that Limbaugh’s is the only opinion that matters in the party that Steele ostensibly leads.
Beyond Steele’s apparent inability to handle the public relations side of his new job, Politico reports that he’s having difficulty mangaing the organizational side as well. A month into his tenure, he has yet to hire any senior aides:
On the organizational side, Steele does not have a chief of staff, a political director, a finance director or a communications director. Last week, one of the two men sharing the job of interim finance director was forced to resign.
For now, “the fourth floor,” as the RNC’s executive suite is known, is being run by a pair of consultants. “There’s frustration that there’s no discipline, no planning,” said a well-known Republican consultant. “He’s risking being overexposed by accepting every interview, which makes gaffes more likely.”
But perhaps most ironically, Steele’s plea that the caller “trust” him is coming from the same man that told Glenn Beck last month: “You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our [party’s] word or our actions at this point.”