The Campaign Spot

For Starters, Don’t Replace Michael Steele With Rich Kotite

From this morning’s Jolt:

Funny How Clashes Always Lead to ‘Should He Stay or Should He Go’ Discussions

Reporters for left-of-center sites don’t come much better, fairer, or nicer than Christina Bellantoni, but I roll my eyes a bit at the premise of this piece: “Even Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s harshest critics agree that pushing him out before his tenure is up would be a PR nightmare — saying that even though he may deserve the boot, they fear he’d get so much media attention they’d never hear the last of him. ‘If he were thrown overboard you can guarantee he’d be out there slamming a lot of people and saying a lot of things. It’s best to let this one simmer down,’ said a top Republican strategist who works with the RNC.”

Really? I have little doubt that Steele would indeed want to go out in a blaze of glory, and spend copious amounts of time explaining why the committee’s troubles under him were everyone else’s fault but his. But how many people would take his complaints seriously? Does anyone really want to argue that it’s a tragedy that Peter Drucker’s not around today to study Steele’s innovative management techniques? How many voters would look at Steele’s record and a dismissal and conclude, ‘he got a raw deal?’

My first thought on a Steele departure is like the usual midseason firing of a head football coach — who takes over in the short term, and then for the long term? Who’s out there? Don’t say “anybody’s better;” I remember some righty blogger contending last that “anyone” would be better than Steele, and when I disagreed, asserting that I would be better than him. Flattering, but completely wrong; I don’t know the first thing about running a party committee. The RNC would shrink down to one really good blog. When it comes to management changes, you always run the risk of replacing Pete Carroll with Rich Kotite.

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