Wait a minute, not another campaign? Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, plagued by his own verbal blunders but also smelling GOP victories on Tuesday, is preparing to run for a second term as head of the party's national organization.
Steele outlined his re-election plans in a conference call last week with other party officials, according to CNN
, which cited three unnamed Republican sources. Steele, wrapping up a 48-state bus tour, has been outspoken and controversial in a role usually played by a partisan who sticks closely to the party script. But he has also presided over off-year Republican gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia and will be at the helm on Nov. 2 when his party is expected to make substantial gains in House and Senate contests.
The former Maryland lieutenant governor has been criticized for fundraising shortcomings, alleged mismanagement of the national committee and his loose-cannon comments. Just last summer, he called the war in Afghanistan, launched by President Bush in 2001, a "war of Obama's choosing" and suggested it could not be won. But Steele does not lack for self-confidence. He would need the support of at least 85 of the RNC's 168 members to win another two-year term in a party election next year.
"The efforts of the Republican National Committee continue to be focused on a victory Nov. 2," an RNC spokesman told CNN when asked about Steele's plans.