Friday, August 6, 2010

Des Moines Register-Michael Steele Defends His Tenure as RNC Chair

Michael Steele/
(Story reported by Tom Beaumont)

Kansas City, Mo. — Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele defended his tumultuous tenure to the party’s leaders meeting in Kansas City this week to discuss election-year plans.
Steele, who is expected to face a challenge for re-election, told the entire RNC the party had begun turning around from poor showings in 2006 and 2008.

“We have gone from a demoralized super-minority to a legion of effective citizens who are on the offense,” Steele said at the RNC’s summer meeting.

Steele has faced criticism in the wake of revelations this year that party leaders spent roughly $2,000 at a Hollywood strip club in February.

More recently, he was criticized for stating that the war in Afghanistan was “a war of Obama’s choosing,” when it was begun under President George W. Bush, a Republican.

But Steele said he had helped lead efforts to modernize the party, with a new media strategy and getting involved in more states.

“The RNC was out of step with its base in facing the new frontier,” Steele said.

Steele also said he had tried to empower state party organizations, rather than dictate policy to activists.

“I would rather have 50 strong, independent Republican state parties than one massive behemoth bureaucratic RNC,” he said. “That’s not what it’s ever been about. It’s never been about me.”

(click here to read the full story on the Des Moines website)

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