It’s looking increasingly likely that RNC Chairman Michael Steele will be announcing Monday evening that he won’t be running for a second term.
Steele has decided to schedule a conference call with RNC members tomorrow evening, where he is expected to make his intentions clear.
Steele could go either way, but his actions over the last week aren’t of a candidate preparing for a tough campaign. Steele has decided to remain out of the spotlight over the last few weeks, which is odd considering how often he’s enjoyed the spotlight over the last two years. Indeed, his thinking has remained hidden even from his closest supporters – key allies on the RNC and on his staff.
Some of his closest supporters have speculated that Steele’s decision to stay mum on his intentions have been a tactic, a maneuver designed to clarify the field and scope out the opposition. But it’s clear that this tactic – if it was contrived – hasn’t been very successful. His opposition has gained momentum in the media and with RNC members, and his supporters are becoming increasingly open to offers from declared candidates because they’re not sure if Steele will jump into the race at all.
But it’s also worth mentioning that Steele’s core support remains strong, and that if the chairman decided that he wanted to run for reelection, he would have a substantial base from which to draw support.
At the end of the day, Steele could surprise us. Steele has been nothing if not unconventional, and the RNC chairman’s race is not a traditional campaign.
Follow FrumForum as we bring you coverage of Steele’s decision.
And remember, FrumForum was the first place to report that Michael Steele might not run, back on November 16th:
A senior Republican source close to the RNC tells FrumForum that Michael Steele may not even run for the RNC Chairmanship in January…
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 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.
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