After a two-year tenure marked by embarrassing gaffes and financial woes, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele may soon be ousted in an upcoming RNC election, which has already attracted several candidates, including a pharmaceutical lobbyist and a man who has defended a white nationalist. But Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips doesn’t like the current field. In email to supporters today, the major tea party leader called for a “solid conservative take over the RNC,” explaining, “We must rescue the RNC and the party from those who would make this party Socialist-lite.”
The only person for the job, Phillips concluded, is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whom he is hoping to draft into a run for chairman. In an open letter to Palin included in the email, Phillips pleaded with her to run, suggesting that no less than “the survival of our country” is on the line:
We are in a fight for the survival of our country. […] We need you as Chairman of the RNC. You have shown in the past no hesitation to take on the establishment. You did it in Alaska. If we end up with establishment control of the GOP and their support for an establishment candidate in 2012, Obama and the socialists will have won. An establishment candidate will not work to repeal Obamacare and the other programs Obama, Pelosi and Reid have put in place. We need someone who will put conservatives in control of the party apparatus, not RINOs. […]
Finally, you are a superstar. You have an unbelievable ability to light up a crowd and to raise money. Both of which the Republican Party needs. Something is really wrong with the GOP when the RNC cannot fund a get out the vote campaign for mid-term elections. The GOP needs a conservative who can raise money and energize the troops. You are the only one out there with these unique talents.
Back in April, Palin expressed her support for Steele and said he was doing “a great job” as RNC chair. For his part, Steele has rushed to defend Palin in the midst of criticism she has faced from Republican leaders, telling them to “chill out.”
In his letter, Phillips explained that the letter would be sent to Palin “in the next few days” and encouraged supporters to build a movement to draft her. But the email also serves to suggest than anyone short of a far-right tea party conservative as chairman would be unacceptable to the tea party movement. Of course, if Palin did run — and win — the chairmanship, that would likely complicate or prevent an expected presidential bid in 2012.