The Campaign Spot

What We Know About the Palace Intrigue Within The RNC

It’s a little Byzantine, but here goes…
1. Someone is telling political blogs – arguably liberal or left-of-center – like 538.com and Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire that a move to oust Michael Steele is coming down the pike.

2. Sean Quinn at 538.com describes sources as “multiple former high-level RNC staffers familiar with the dynamics involved” saying that Steele is out if Republicans lose a special House election in New York state at the end of the month.
3. “Former high-level RNC staffers” are, in all likelihood,  most closely affiliated with former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, who withdrew his bid for reelection earlier this year after three rounds of balloting. Duncan himself appears to be moving on to work outside of politics, becoming chairman of the directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

4. Katon Dawson has publicly praised Steele, telling the Chicago Tribune and others “he has the promise to be a tremendous chairman.” Others who have had personal conversations with Dawson say that while he has doubts about Steele’s performance of late – not exactly a rare condition at this moment –  he didn’t seem inclined to lead a coup against him. Dawson, as a sitting state chairman, seemed to recognize that he and other Republicans need a well-functioning RNC right now.

5. The fact that Ada Fischer, a North Carolina RNC member who backed Dawson called for Steele’s resignation after the Rush Limbaugh brouhaha, made many jump to the conclusion that she was acting on Dawson’s behalf, or spoke for disgruntled Dawson backers.

6. Nonetheless, former RNC staffers are contacting me and telling me “I’m hearing Katon will almost certainly push for the vote of no confidence if Tedisco loses (but there is still the chance he will move forward regardless of the outcome).”
7. The changing of the guard at the RNC means that there are a lot of staffers who were, at one point, well-connected within a national party committee and who are now out in the cold.

As Rorschach would say, “Hrm.”

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