RNC Candidates Must Measure Up to Dems' Kaine

Candidates look lightweight compared to Va. guv, DNC chair
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Jan 16, 2009 1:34 PM CST
In this Nov. 5, 2008, file photo, Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan gestures during a forum at the National Press Club in Washington. Duncan is seeking reelection as RNC chairman.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Since Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine took over the Democratic National Committee last week, Republicans—in the midst of choosing Kaine’s RNC counterpart—are concerned that their contenders aren’t quite in Kaine’s weight class, reports Politico. Imagining the inevitable on-air debates, one Republican stresses the importance of choosing “someone who can express themselves so that the American people can know what the hell they’re talking about.”

Some Republican contenders, including Ken Blackwell and Michael Steele, have held state posts and have reputations as decent communicators. And Incumbent Mike Duncan might be more loose on the air now that he doesn't have to constantly defend Bush policies. But "the GOP’s problem isn’t its messenger, it’s its message or lack thereof,” said a Democratic strategist. "The party could have Abe Lincoln running the RNC and still wouldn’t have anything to say.”