|Michael Steele: AP Photo|
There is an effort underway among prominent Republican National Committee members to recruit a serious alternative to Chairman Michael Steele if and when he decides to stand for a second term early next year, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
Henry Barbour, the nephew of Gov. Haley Barbour and a committeeman from Mississippi, has approached Reince Priebus, who served as the chairman of Steele's first run for chairman in 2009, about the possibility of challenging the incumbent early next year.
As chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Priebus helped the GOP win the governorship, a Senate seat, two U.S. House seats and seize control of both the state House and Senate last Tuesday.
Priebus remains undecided on a challenge to Steele and those close to him insist he is not actively organizing for such a bid.
Whether it's Priebus or someone else, there is broad agreement within the ranks of the RNC that Steele is very likely to run for a second term and very likely to be seriously challenged for that post.
While Steele has been much maligned for the committee's fundraising problems and his tendency to veer off message in public appearances, even his most ardent opponents acknowledge that he is held in higher regard by the 168 RNC members than he is by the general GOP political class.
(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)