Michael Steele’s prospects for remaining head of the RNC continue to diminish. In the aftermath of Gentry Collins’ stinging indictment of Steele, three powerhouse governors have signaled that they believe it’s time for Steele to go.
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, himself a former RNC chair, did more than signal this view; he flatly stated that the RNC needs a new chair. He then explained:
To defeat an incumbent president, even one that’s got the political problems of this one, the RNC has to operate at absolutely maximum capacity, and this year they operated far, far, far below that in terms of fundraising, in terms of grass-roots organization and in terms of building strong, self-reliant state parties
Rick Perry, governor of Texas, didn’t expressly comment on Steele. However, he clearly wants a new chair, having just endorsed Nick Ayers, executive director of the governors association, for the job.
Finally, Tim Pawlenty’s comments on the Collins letter leave little doubt about where the Minnesota governor stands. He stated that Collins’s assessment about the RNC’s performance in the 2010 election “concerns me a great deal.” Pawlenty noted that in every cycle, and especially in a presidential election, “you have to have a high-functioning, effective ground game,” and “it appears based on this letter that that didn’t happen” in 2010.
Steele’s days as RNC chair seem to be numbered.