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Republican strategist: Michael Steele has 'obviously been a disaster'

By Felicia Sonmez

A top Republican Party strategist had some harsh words for beleaguered Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Sunday.

Ed Rollins, who served as national campaign director for Ronald Reagan's 1984 bid and as a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that Steele has "obviously been a disaster."

"Michael Steele has failed miserably to do the things you're supposed to do: raise money, basically go out and articulate a message," Rollins said.

He added that "what (Steele) says or does in the next 11 weeks is not going to matter" on Election Day, because other party leaders have "picked up the mantle and are raising the resources that we need."

Recent months have seen continued turbulence at the RNC, including reports of millions of dollars in previously unreported debt. Steele also drew criticism in July for remarks in which he suggested that the war in Afghanistan might not be winnable.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  August 15, 2010; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

I am a OBAMA supporter, I think based on where we were, which included on the brink of a depression to where we are now is incredible. He finally attempted to do something to slow down future cost in Medicare which is guaranteed to bankrupt everything without any competition. He also realize in the past 8 years good paying jobs were being replaced with under paid jobs and stop giving companies tax incentives to send jobs over seas. This has helped the industry such as technology, the jobs of tomorrow. That industry is doing great. But the most honest comment on here came from poster 809212876 where he said.

"Steele and the GOP then let LImbaugh run a de facto GOP message of making the President fail, which the rest of the GOP was loathe to take issue with, much less set out a valid, coherent GOP message for the what's supposed to be last remaining superpower on earth. Game over for all of us. May as well turn the USA over to China, at least they'll DO something besides sit around in gridlock for decades with their hands and heads up their....."

Republicans won't let needed changes pass now. In the future any democrat that supports republican ideas will be penalized harshly. Nothing will be done for decades. Based on the latest pole Democrats are looking to retain Both houses of congress by slim margins. So that means a do nothing congress will be here without republican support. We are screwed!

Posted by: gFreep2010 | August 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Proof that Michael Steele failed to articulate a message and/or a GOP platform is amply evident when he let Rush Limbaugh shout him down and humiliate the leader of the GOP, who caved like a coward. Game over. Steele never reclaimed leadership status.

Steele and the GOP then let LImbaugh run a de facto GOP message of making the President fail, which the rest of the GOP was loathe to take issue with, much less set out a valid, coherent GOP message for the what's supposed to be last remaining superpower on earth. Game over for all of us.

May as well turn the USA over to China, at least they'll DO something besides sit around in gridlock for decades with their hands and heads up their.....

Posted by: 809212876 | August 16, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is being setup as the fall guy and he will be deserving of it. WHEN the Republicans do not gain majorities in the House and Senate, the blame will be thrown right onto Michael Steele. If they capture one of the branches, then he wouldn't even be given credit for that.

Posted by: ATLGuy | August 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Since this is on the Obama Presidency Blog, where is President Obama's comment on this pressing matter?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

November elections will determine how good or bad Michael Steele will be. Where has Ed Rollins been?

Posted by: winston5750 | August 16, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Ed Rollings is one of the few adults in Washington in either party. He calls it as it is or he refrains from comment, he doesn't mouth platitudes dictated solely by partisanship. He is right on both counts here - Steele is a disaster (and a joke), and other GOPers have picked up the slack as a result.

Posted by: bpai_99 | August 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Now I think this is funny that a party on a sinking ship and that is about to get their clocks cleaned in November with people so furious about the garbage bills from this inept administration and corresponding fruitcakes in Congress are wasting time giving critique on Michael Steele. Seems to me you need to be cleaning out your closet of nut jobs before you start advising on anything. Why your party candidates are distancing themselves from Obama as far as they can get. I would suggest that you guys need to get rid of is the socialist little want to bees in your party. i am not a big fan of Steele but i would rather have that tiny problem than the ones the Democrats have at present. In the scheme of things, who heads up the Republican party will not even be noticed. But on election day, the Republican victory will be. Clean out your own garbage. You have more than enough to keep you busy.

Posted by: greatgran1 | August 16, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I should pity Michael Steele as I watch him finally face reality about his beloved Republican Party. He was in self denial that his party was an arm for representating hateful bigots. I notice he started to realize what was happening in some of his later remarks about how he would be judged. It was starting to set in. It probably breaks his heart to have most of the people especially his people look at him as a fool. In his fantasy world the sounds of people saying “they (the republicans) don’t really want you. To them you are one of us. Just you are a good one” was not true and full of lies and slander if he could find anything. For many republicans they see no problem with what I just said. But Michaele Steele does, he understands fully what was meant by that. He has finally come to the realization he was up there fighting for those that would take pleasure in the destruction of those that are closes to him. Every group he wanted to reach out to ensure his party would survive in the future, Republicans have had a problem with. First it was blacks, then it was Asians now its Latinos and gays. The only group they don’t have a problem with is straight white males. That is ok now but in the near future the latino population will balloon to large numbers of registered voters. The number of registered African American voters is expected to double as the 9 year olds who watched Barrack Obama become president and whose reality has been changed from this comes of voting age. Asians and gays have also voted in large part against the hate of the right. Their numbers are also increasing. Unless there is an awful lot of boys born to those conservative confederate good old boys, the numbers won’t look good in less than 10 years. Which brings me back to Michale Steele, the day of reckoning has come full circle. The one thing he swore he would fight against as an African American child he now reluctantly must represent.

Posted by: gFreep2010 | August 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If he is not doing a good job for the Republican Party he will not be chosen again in January. Hopefully that will be true in 2012 for Obama.

Posted by: joanz3 | August 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have a track record of choosing token minorities and women and not realizing that the whole game is about choosing competent minorities and women. So they picked Steele and when McCain told his staff to choose a female candidate to counteract Hilary they came up with Palin. Those two choices are extremely revealing about how they view minorities and women.

Posted by: withersb | August 16, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

IF MICHAEL STEELE IS SUCH A DISASTER, WHY ARE THE REPUBLICANS KICKING THE DEMOCRAT'S BUTT? ALL THESE DEMOCRAT POSERS ON THIS BLOG HAVE TO KNOW THE DEMOCRATS ARE BYE BYE IN NOVEMBER.

I VOTED FOR STEELE TWICE. I THINK HE IS A GOOD MAN.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK STEELE. HOPEFULLY, YOUR OLD BUDDY ERHLICH WILL KICK MARTIN O'MALLEY ALL THE WAY BACK TO CASA IN MEXICO.

BYE BYE DEMOCRATS

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | August 16, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

The hiring of Michael Steele's as party chairman was a cynical "Me too!" move on the part of the GOP - "Hey the Dems got a black man elected president; now we'll show everyone we're 'equal opportunity, too!".

It's backfired. Miserably. Miserably enough to make one wonder if that was part of Steele's plan.

Here's one "liberal Democrat" who hopes - no, PRAYS - that the GOP is stupid enough to bring in Sarah Palin as Steele's replacement.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 15, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

The hiring of Michael Steele's as party chairman was a cynical "Me too!" move on the part of the GOP - "Hey the Dems got a black man elected president; now we'll show everyone we're 'equal opportunity, too!".

It's backfired. Miserably. Miserably enough to make one wonder if that was part of Steele's plan.

Here's one "liberal Democrat" who hopes - no, PRAYS - that the GOP is stupid enough to bring in Sarah Palin as Steele's replacement.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 15, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Disaster?

Suppose you wanted to convince Americans that it is a mistake to elevate black Americans to positions of influence? Suppose you wanted to establish that these people just can't avoid corruption and incompetence? Suppose you needed to demonstrate that in a somewhat controlled environment where the damage can be minimized?

Could any black American demonstrate that better than Michael Steele as RNC Chair?

Could this be the GOP trying to play chess, instead of checkers?

Posted by: OldUncleTom | August 15, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Disaster?

Suppose you wanted to convince Americans that it is a mistake to elevate black Americans to positions of influence? Suppose you wanted to establish that these people just can't avoid corruption and incompetence? Suppose you needed to demonstrate that in a somewhat controlled environment where the damage can be minimized?

Could any black American demonstrate that better than Michael Steele as RNC Chair?

Could this be the GOP trying to play chess, instead of checkers?

Posted by: OldUncleTom | August 15, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that Mr. Steele has acheived his objectives. Better to use than to be used.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 15, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

When a decision is made from the base of cynicism, the outcome is preordained.

Posted by: brantdavis07 | August 15, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The GOP had intended Michael Steele to be part of a Con-Job on America.

and it backfired.

awwwwwwwwwwww

Now it's Sarah Palin's turn to be a Con-Artist.

Posted by: vigor | August 15, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

A disaster?????

Michael Steel is walking talking "tool" for Right-Wingerrsss's and not a very good one at that.

As a matter of fact, he looks like a ignorant fool by being one.

A "tool" that is.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | August 15, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

steele and rollins typify the gop.

All sytles flash and glitter
but
No Substance
and
cannot govern.

ISA

Posted by: vettessman | August 15, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Did Steele become incompetent when he became chairman of the RNC? No, look at his term as Lt. Governor of Maryland. This says a lot about the politician who elevated Steele out of obscurity, former Maryland Governor Erlich. Erlich, like McCain, resorted to a desparate gimic to try to win and inflicted their bad judgment on the Nation.

Posted by: Tennessee2 | August 15, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Steele has never had a job other than being a black republican. No wonder he is not doing well.

Posted by: Eric20 | August 15, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Is there any doubt that the elderly white peoples party chose Steele to prove that "they really does like black folk, honest!"

Obama won the Presidency legitimately, running over Hillary's machine and the party elders in the process, because he had the substance to do so. Steele was chosen for nothing more than the color of his skin and his lack of substance shows.

Posted by: orange31 | August 15, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but I just can not resist. Hope you Huckabees find this as hilarious as Cantor's version about Obama:

Steele, the token Negro visited Street C
And prayed along with Robertson and old white Huckabees

Little Erck Cantor loved that rascal Steele,
And let him run the RNC and turn the steering wheel.

Together they would babble on right-wing Fox TV
Cantor kept a lookout perched his token for to see
Rove, Romney and Gringrinch would bow when’er they came
Palin smirked and flipped here hair when Steel called out her name.

Oh Steel the selfish Negro ran the RNC and blamed Barak on Cheney's war
for everyone to see.

Steele the Selfish-Negro
Went to write a book
And Cantor wailed his token failed
And become another crook

His head was bent in sorrow, bad words fell like rain
Steele no longer went to play Rove’s propaganda game
Without his token Steele, Eric could no longer save
The black folk’s votes that McCain had come to crave.

Oh Steele, the token Negro ran the RNC
And oogled topless waitresses with old white Huckabees

Posted by: areyousaying | August 15, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

steele and rollins typify the gop.

All sytles flash and glitter
but
No Substance
and
cannot govern.

ISA

Posted by: vettessman | August 15, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

It is not so much that Steele is bad, it is that when around people with more appeal, he loses the Spotlight!

Gingrich, though competent for the Presidency, is too Waspish, and Evangelical!

Bushie blew that option-Hopefully no more Neo-cons!

Palin, while inspiring is UNQUALIFIED for POTUS!

However, for RNC Chair, SHE would leave Steele soooooooo WANTING!

Posted by: SAINT---The | August 15, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Who's the "Magic Negro" now?

Posted by: areyousaying | August 15, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This is a good start for the Republicans. Now, Mr. Rollins and other party advisors need to say the same thing about Sarah Palin, and distance her from the core of the GOP, before she brings the party down around her ears.

Posted by: setlaw | August 15, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

What Rollins said is common knowledge and common sense. The only story is that a Repub was honest and said the obvious.

Posted by: 1observer | August 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

GOP: Having black skin doesn't make one Black. When you understand that concept you'll find a more compelling black token for your agenda.

Posted by: Pam31 | August 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

How old is Ed Rollins? It shows.

Posted by: markiejoe | August 15, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The G.O.P. may lose a huge opportunity in November, partially due to Michael Steele. He should have gotten the Tea Party folks under control; raised money while cutting expenses; pitched the party line to the public; provided a vision for the party. If the Democrats control Congress after the election, Steele will go. The rest of the blame will fall upon the Tea Party, who have forced some really awful candidates on the G.O.P.

Posted by: LauraBlack | August 15, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The goobers picked him not for the content of his character but for the color of his skin.

Their motives were wrong; they are now reaping what they sowed.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | August 15, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Hands off Michael Steele. Michael Steele has positioned the do-nothings for sweeping wins in November. Do-nothing blowhard losers have been boasting and celebrating their victories early. They have been practicing spiking the ball and practicing victory laps. The pundits are in 100% agreement and they remind us several times a day about the invincibility of the mighty do-nothings in November.

There is no way that the do-nothings will suffer another crippling and embarrasing loss in November, (the kind that they have suffered in the past) and the do-nothings will have Michael Steele to lead them to the promised land.

Posted by: DCSage | August 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

No one knows Sombez. heard Rollins died in New Jersey. Happy he's still kicking.

Mr Steele raised more $ & win more seats than any chair since Haley.
Traveled more places than last five chairs.
Love the sound of loser consultants + distraught dems

Posted by: Shawnsteelzone | August 15, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry--does anyone know Somnen? But am pleased to learn Ed Rollins is still alive--heard he died in New Jersey.

But to the facts. Stubborn things.

Steele raised more $ than any prior chair & win more w
Elections

Posted by: Shawnsteelzone | August 15, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans showed with GWB that they could not govern. The Republicans just reinforce that fact when you look at how they have run the RNC. Can't govern a country, can't govern a party.

Posted by: merrylees | August 15, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

It just shows that the Republicans think all blak people are alike and selecting Steele to counter Obama is a real joke. One man has ideas and the other just repeats what he is told to say and when he goes off message he gets slammed. It's not like he is Colin Powell or another bright black Republican. They should have looked to JC Watts instead but it just shows that they can't tell one from another. Just cause they want the big tent doesn't mean they should fill it with elephants and clowns. They have room for Bachman, Palin, Limbough and Beck but no one who can tell the truth unless Fox tells them it is.

Posted by: msjn1 | August 15, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Steele was supposed to attract non-White votes, but it's not his fault that most non-Whites have brains and can think. Just as Palin was supposed to attract non-male votes... very similar problem. Come November we'll see if the Party of "No" is approaching the party of "No Longer" or if there is a still large enough following of common people willing to vote against their own interests and vote Republican.

Posted by: glenglish | August 15, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse


Michael Steele is a joke and brings down the RNC.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 15, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse


Michael Steele is a joke and brings down the RNC.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 15, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The day after the November election Steele will be gone. That can be a busy time for U-haul, I suggest he make his reservation now.

Posted by: nelsonjackson1 | August 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The Republican National Committee has an organizational structure that is headed by a Chairperson. Not unlike a CEO to a board of directors, the Chairperson serves at the pleasure of committee and is responsible to it for increasing the value of the RNC. The committee is responsible to registered Republican voters nationally for getting Republican candidates elected. Donations have decreased significantly under Mr. Steele’s chairmanship, a decrease in value.

While his contrary and inaccurate public opinions are interesting, devaluing the RNC is the result of poor stewardship. Mr. Steele has demonstrated that he is incompetent in that position.

The committee should have no choice. For Steele to remain as Chairperson is an example of the elite hypocrisy the committee has allowed. It is also quite cynical because it sets up Mr. Steele to take the fall for the results of the upcoming November elections.

It is not the case that he cannot be touched because he is black. Affirmative action notwithstanding, incompetence knows no race, color, creed, gender or sexual orientation distinction. Incompetence is equal opportunity.

If being a party of business is supposed to mean something, the committee needs to behave like a business. Steele’s chairmanship demonstrates that the RNC has or is an incompetent board of directors who are not looking out after the best interest of their stock-holders, the registered voters I mentioned. To allow for Steele’s lack of competence in his position reflects poor governance. As such, the board needs to be replaced as well.

Posted by: teamac | August 15, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that the Republicans will elect either an Hispanic or a Muslim as the next RNC chair.

Posted by: marsh1944 | August 15, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Wrong! It is the GOP that is the DISASTER. Michael Steele, their TOKIN BLACK is merely their EPITAPH.

Posted by: laurelphoto | August 15, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The GOP should have read WaPo before they hired Steele...

They wanted a token to talk back to the first black president...this is what they deserve.

Posted by: edismae | August 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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