Michael Steele

*Michael Steele has bungled money and staff, regularly mugs and grandstands on network talk shows, brags about being hip, a street guy, and even complains that he, as President Obama, is also subject to a racial double standard.

He has more detractors than any GOP leader this side of George W. Bush, and that includes legions of Republican leaders. A handful of them publicly, and even more so privately, call for him to step down. That won’t happen. There are good reasons why.

The RNC still needs Steele for the very reason he was plucked for the lead role in the first place. In the wake of Obama’s smash White House win, he was the best hope to prevent a battered, beaten, and demoralized GOP had from being shoved to the netherworld of national politics.

The GOP was widely ridiculed and dismissed as an insular party of unreconstructed bigots, Deep South, rural and, non-college educated blue collar whites. Steele gives the party an image sheen that is anything but white, rural and Deep South.

Obama’s win underscored the changing voter demographics. In the decade and a half between Clinton’s presidential win in 1992 and Obama’s win in 2008, the number of black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American voters soared to nearly one quarter of the nation’s electorate. At the same time, blue collar white voters shrunk from more than half of the nation’s voters to less than forty percent. Obama handily won the Hispanic and Asian vote and crushed Republican presidential rival John McCain with the black vote. He split close to even with McCain the votes of college educated whites. In the next four years, the number of non-white and youth voters will continue to climb and the white electorate overall will continue to decline. The Democrat’s expanding core base of voters, like Steele, is more moderate, socially active, and mildly pro government; the diametric opposite of what the GOP purports to stand for.

The knock against Steele is that he burns money, and he does. But he can also raise money, and fundraising is still a big part of the RNC’s mission. And … (READ MORE)