It appears that we have a palace rebellion brewing within the upper reaches of the Republican party And that former House speaker Newt Gingrich is among those trying to tamp it down.
This from today’s Washington Post:
A group of Republican National Committee members is circulating a resolution that would limit how much Chairman Michael S. Steele could spend without authorization from other party leaders, a move some Steele backers say is an attempt to limit the authority of the sometimes controversial chairman.
Steele supporters are privately calling the move, first reported by the Washington Times, a “power grab.”
On C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” this morning, Gingrich said the description was accurate — and defended Steele against what the former Georgia congressman described as a group of “precious,” self-centered elitists.
Here’s the clip:
Asked if the group was attempting to curb Steele’s authority, Gingrich said:
”That’s probably right. I what you have is — Steele is a huge shock because he’s different. He’s not just different because he’s African-American, he’s different because he’s a free spirit. He’s used to saying what he thinks.
“He’s controversial. He has enormous energy, he has great self-confidence. He probably has not yet learned the art of massaging the egos of RNC members.
“One of the reasons, frankly, I would not have dreamed of running for that job is that the Republican National Committee is this tiny group of people — some of whom have been there 20 years and more.
“And they all think they’re precious. And they all think they should be taken care of. And they all think the job of the chairman is first of all to make the RNC members happy.
“So I suspect there’s some real tension. And I think it’ll be interesting to see how it works out.
“I hope Steele continues to evolve and grow and learn. He’s had a challenging couple of opening months, because there’s a huge jump from being an analyst, who only shows up for a couple of minutes, to being a national political figure where the news media is after you every morning, offering to give you a chance to hang yourself.”
Steele, by the by, is still scheduled to address the state GOP convention next month in Savannah.
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