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.

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