Steele: I Would Win Re-Election


Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, exuding new confidence after a 48-state “Fire Pelosi” bus tour, said he may seek reelection as chairman in January despite criticism by those who think he has been weak on money, management and message.

“Oh, if I run, I'm going to win,” Steele said in an interview for the POLITICO video series “Countdown to 2010.”

Steele said he has told committee members, “Yeah, I'm thinking about it, and I'll let people know what I'm doing.

“I'm not playing coy or cute,” Steele added. “I'm going to assess and evaluate what I think the party needs based on how we do this week, where I think the party needs to go based on how we do this upcoming week, what additional work still needs to be done.”

Steele, 52, a lawyer and former Maryland lieutenant governor, was elected the party’s first African-American chairman on Jan. 30, 2009, when the GOP was gasping for air after the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

“You sit back and you say to yourself, ‘Wow! The transformation, the progress!’ I call that ‘turning the elephant,’ which was our goal from the very beginning. [It] was to get out and first have the elephant — ... the national party, state parties — turn and face ourselves and see where we've made mistakes in the past.

“And then how will we move forward in this new environment where, you know, President Obama's 60-plus percent approval, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are riding high, coming off the Inauguration. And we're really kind of picking ourselves up out of the ash heaps of '08 and '06.”

“The RNC is not weak,” he said. “My job description is very simple: Raise money, win elections. ... We're gonna win the House. We put the emphasis on rebuilding the party's infrastructure; we invested significantly in that over the last two years. We've raised a significant amount of money. We put the money back out into the states.”