Low Pressure on Steele -- Moneywise, at Least

By Chris Good

As pundits decry the performance of RNC Chairman Michael Steele, it should be noted that there's relatively low pressure on Steele to fill the coffers of the RNC--at least at this point. Yes, Republicans got beat by Democrats in 2006 and 2008, and there's considerable pressure to turn the party around, but the RNC had $22.8 million in the bank with no debt as of Jan. 31, whereas the DNC had just over $270,000. Obama for America, which accounted in part for the DNC's low 2008 fundraising totals, had $17.8 million in the bank after its debts are subtracted (as of Dec. 31, according to its latest Federal Election Commission filing)--but it's unclear if Obama's campaign will hold onto that money, use it to push for legislative efforts, etc.--and it might not be so easily equated to RNC/DNC money.

So, while critics call for Steele to be quiet and raise money, rather than sitting for high-profile interviews that can lead to (and, in fact, have led to) gaffes, it should be noted that Steele has a head start in the cash arena. In other words, things could be much worse for him if the party's coffers were empty.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/03/low-pressure-on-steele-moneywise-at-least/1532/