Is Michael Steele Ready To Move On?
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
As NPR's Peter Overby reports, Steele has faced withering criticism for spending too much, raising too little and generally mismanaging the national party apparatus.
PETER OVERBY: Steele's two-year term as chairman has had many more downs than ups. Longtime political analyst Stuart Rothenberg says you have to look a long way back to find a national party committee in so much trouble.
STUART ROTHENBERG: This may be as bad, at least over the last 30 or 40 years, as I've ever seen.
OVERBY: Rothenberg's prescription for healing?
ROTHENBERG: The RNC needs a dose of good news, and it needs to do some fundraising and get its reputation back.
OVERBY: Here he is talking to Fox News just before Election Day, bragging on a haul of $175 million during his tenure.
MICHAEL STEELE: We've raised a hundred - think 175, lot of zeroes after it. And you know why and how? Those are dollars that are raised in small increments - $47 is our average donation.
OVERBY: At a candidates' forum earlier this month, Collins said the bad fundraising crippled the RNC's vaunted voter mobilization effort.
GENTRY COLLINS: The problem in 2010 is that we did not have the resources to deploy that ground game to all of the places in the country where it should have been deployed.
OVERBY: One contender for the chairmanship says he can fix that.
MIKE DUNCAN: Money is the mother's milk of politics. There's not too much money in politics. There's not enough money.
OVERBY: Peter Overby, NPR News, Washington.
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