Loose-Cannon Steele Worries GOP Leaders

The new RNC chair's discipline in question; he says he's just telling hard truths
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 9:19 AM CST
Loose-Cannon Steele Worries GOP Leaders
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, center, is congratulated by supporters being elected the first black Republican National Committee chairman, Friday, Jan. 30, 2009    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

GOP leaders are beginning to worry that their new chairman may need a manager himself. A succession of gaffes, flaky comments, and strange decisions by Michael Steele has some experiencing buyer's remorse. Top of the list: Steele fought with, then apologized to, Rush Limbaugh, threatened long-time incumbents, suggested an “off the hook” PR campaign to reach “urban-suburban hip-hop settings,” and a month in which he still doesn’t have any senior staff.

“There’s frustration that there’s no discipline, no planning,” says one Republican consultant. Agrees an RNC member, “I’m worried that we need someone to manage the chairman.” Steele thinks his party just can’t handle the truth. “If I told folks what I really thought, I’d probably be in a lot more trouble.” He says he's been traveling to kick off his effort to rebrand the party, and some people are just nervous because they're out of the loop. "I won’t get there by tattle-telling every day what I’m doing."
(More Republican stories.)

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