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March 31, 2009

End infighting and finger-pointing, Steele demands

by Gadi Dechter -- The Baltimore Sun

Embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele lashed out at GOP infighting Tuesday and urged the party faithful – some of whom have expressed discomfort with his erratic statements – to be more like him: “unconventional, unpredictable … to do from time to time the unexpected.”

At a fundraiser for the Anne Arundel County Republican Party at the Annapolis Sheraton, the former Maryland lieutenant governor returned to a hero’s welcome and jokingly acknowledged the rough road he’s traveled since taking over the national party earlier this year.

“Someone told me this whole chairmanship think would be a cakewalk,” he told the more than 400 Republicans who ponied up at least $75 a place to hear him speak. “I’ve learned you can’t please everybody. However you can certainly tick them all off at the same time.”

“That’s part of my strategy,” he said, to laughter, echoing a recent claim that his public tiff with talk show host Rush Limbaugh had been planned.

But Steele also expressed frustration with the public airing of party doubts about his leadership that have dogged his first months as chairman.

“I’m a little sick and tired of the finger-pointing and blaming and complaining,” he said. “Yeah, we have our disagreements. But you don’t play it out there for the press. You’ve got to keep it in the family.”

Del. Warren Miller, a Howard County Republican, noted that the famously off-the-cuff Steele appeared a bit more practiced on Tuesday. "That was one of the first times in my life I've seen him use notes," Miller said.

Del. Anthony O'Donnell, the House minority leader from Southern Maryland said: "I think he was probably saying we have enough detractors from without, we don't have to have detractors from within."

Steele’s appearance at the Republican State Central Committee of Anne Arundel County’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner boosted attendance by at least 100, said Louis M. Pope, an RNC’s committeeman for Maryland, who estimated the county party raised more than $36,000.

-- Gadi Dechter

Posted by David Nitkin at 9:39 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Michael Steele
        

Comments

If Michael Steele is "sick of the finger-ponting and blaming and complaining", it is directed at HIS leadership, or lack thereof. His first test, the NY special election for the House, in a conservative area of the state, now goes to absentee ballots because the vote is too close. There will be an opportunity for Republicans to start the pendulum to swing back again, but SOMEONE needs to lead and have a plan. We're still waiting.

Steele is the anti-Jordan. DON'T be like Mike. I suppose Steele considers Darryl Hughgley family then.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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