Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How It Works at the RNC

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is unlikely to resign and more unlikely to be recalled and replaced following recent disclosures about questionable and abhorrent RNC expenses. While anything is possible, the mechanics of replacing a chairman involves too many personalities, making it likely Chairman Steele fulfills his elected term through January 2011. The mechanics of a recall are not the only reason Mr. Steele probably keeps his job. There are two other reasons to consider.

Reason No. 1) with the recent Supreme Court opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission combined with the more recent ruling in the Federal District Court of DC, the RNC is not the place to be for those interested in having a significant impact on the GOP and the mid-term elections this year. The real money is in the non-profit groups (501c4's and c3's; IRS tax designation) groups that will be able to raise and spend corporate contributions. These groups are formed or forming and they will boast heavy thinkers and hitters who normally congregate at the RNC but have decided their brain power and deep pockets are better applied elsewhere.

Reason No. 2) when the GOP eventually nominates a presidential nominee that nominee and their staff and supporters will dictate terms to the RNC chairman, in this case Mr. Steele if he is able to keep his job by getting re-elected in January 2011. Mr. Steele's best bet and hope is that the GOP does well at the polls this November. A good ballot box performance by the GOP this fall will make it hard to remove Mr. Steele from his RNC post. In the event Mr. Steele survives past next January he will be placed on a very short leash by the GOP presidential nominee. Of course, if the GOP wins in 2012, Mr. Steele will reap the benefits and find himself in a plum Administration job thereafter.

So while many Republicans are hoping for Mr. Steele's ouster due to his gaffe prone performance, more likely it is the Democrats who get their wish by seeing no disruption in Chairman Steele’s current term in office.

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