I see I got paraphrased in the USA Today story on Michael Steele’s election to head the RNC. And I do like being cited. And I can’t complain that the citation is inaccurate. Here’s what they wrote:
Some Republicans had concerns about what The American Spectator’s Quin Hillyer called Steele’s thin record of organizing, fundraising and electoral results. Steele calls that “laughable” and says he’s proven himself in many posts.
Yes, those are exactly the doubts that I expressed. But I had far more to say that was good about Steele than bad. Here’s the full context of what I wrote:
First, many congratulations to Michael Steele. He is a good man, a great communicator, and a breath of fresh air in attitude and outlook. The downside risks with Steele are that he was probably the least conservative of the six announced candidates, AND the one with the thinnest record of nuts-and-bolts organizing, fundraising and electoral success. Those are significant concerns — but I think he is sincerely more conservative than not, that he has a fairly good ear for political tone, that he will be a good representative for the party, and that he has all the potential in the world to put to rest doubts about his organizational bona fides. The tests will be if he spends more money on the grassroots than on consultants, if he takes an aggressive posture on candidate recruitment rather than leaving it to the NRCC and RSC, and if he serves an an honest broker ideologically while doing everything in his power to nurture the conservative grass roots. My hopes for him are much higher than my doubts.
For the purposes of the USA Today story, there was nothing wrong with what the reporter wrote; she was just using my sentence as an example concisely summarizing some widespread concerns. But for purposes of making sure I myself am not misunderstood, and just to set the record straight: My hopes for him ARE much higher than my doubts. I think he can be an excellent chairman, and indeed that he probably will be.
I also wrote this, shortly before the final balloting. So I repeat that I am a fan of Steele’s and am enthusiastic about his chairmanship.