A senior Republican source close to the RNC tells FrumForum that Michael Steele may not even run for the RNC Chairmanship in January, and that his final decision on whether or not to run will not take place until around Thanksgiving.
Chairman Steele has been a Republican National Committee Chair with his fair share of controversy, and the personal attacks may be weighing on him. Steele’s salary at the RNC is listed at over $200,000 a year, but if Palin, Gingrich and/or Huckabee leave FOX to pursue presidential campaigns, a job in broadcasting might be available and would prove to be far more lucrative.
The source also cited the nature of the personal attacks against Chairman Steele, singling out a Daily Caller piece by Don Todd that questioned Steele’s ability to pay his mortgage based on his earnings at the RNC, without considering other sources of income, like his wife’s.
But of course, Steele’s also received criticism and calls for his resignation over some of the controversial comments that he’s made over his tenure at the RNC, including his decision to call the war in Afghanistan “a war of Obama’s making.”
The Republican National Committee Chairmanship has also presented personal difficulties for Steele – the Chairman spent his wedding anniversary away from his wife, because the Fire Pelosi bus tour had him stopping in Fargo, North Dakota that day. On his birthday in October, the Chairman was also on the road.
In any case, the source says that Steele is carefully weighing his options and is taking the decision very seriously on both a personal and professional level, and likely wouldn’t make an announcement until around Thanksgiving.
A decision to hold off on announcing a bid may not change Steele’s chances at reelection – should he chose to run – depending on the field of candidates that emerges by Thanksgiving. After all, Steele’s incumbency advantages remain: his ‘Fire Pelosi’ bus tour allowed him to reach out to many RNC members, and his campaign for reelection would be far less complex than his first campaign for the chairmanship – most of the members already know him personally.
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