After suggesting at a Connecticut fundraiser that Republican candidates needn't bother defending an unwinnable "war of Obama's choosing" in Afghanistan, Michael Steele is facing calls for his ouster. The Republican National Committee Chairman has gotten himself in trouble with his own party before, but this time some conservative commentators are rallying behind a replacement candidate: Sarah Palin. Would it make sense to dump Steele for Palin? (Watch Steele's controversial comments)
This is the perfect job for Palin: It's past time to "dump" Steele, says Kevin D. Williamson in National Review, and Palin would "excel" at all the duties he's shucked — raising tons of money, recruiting great candidates, and helping "set the right tone" for the party. And RNC chief is just a better fit for Palin than her other political job options: presidential candidate, policy analyst, or "freelance kingmaker."
"An idea for the RNC: Dump Steele, hire Palin"
The GOP would rue ousting Steele: "Chairwoman Palin would be the greatest gift Republicans could possibly give political reporters," says Sahil Kapur in True/Slant, but party leaders would be "pining for Steele" after a few months. Steele has "a loose tongue," but he's "not an idiot," and he holds his own with the press. Palin? There's a reason she sticks to Facebook, Twitter, and "the home-turf Fox News."
"Sarah Palin, RNC chair?"
Palin won't do it: Palin "liberated herself" when she resigned as Alaska's governor, says Josh Painter at Texas for Sarah Palin. And "she seems to be enjoying the freedom." So even if the "establishment types" who run the RNC actually tapped Palin, it's unlikely she'd let her "soaring spirit... have its wings clipped."
"Sarah Palin for RNC Chair?"
Steele's job is safe: "One of Washington's most durable propositions" is that "Steele can say or do anything and still keep his job," says John Dickerson in Slate, and that's truer than ever now. Jettisoning him before his term is up in January would trigger a "protracted and public fiasco" just when the party should be focusing on the promising November midterms. "If he doesn't want to go," Republicans won't make him.
"Michael Steele's skirmish"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- 8 ways you're probably overspending without even realizing it
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should accept ISIS as a sovereign nation
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- 6 constitutional amendments that just missed the cut
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
Subscribe to the Week