Steele Finally Catching More Flak From Dems Than GOP

Special election turned out not to be litmus test after all; RNC chairman draws Dem fire instead
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Apr 28, 2009 10:06 AM CDT
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele responds to a question during a news conference before the Vanderburgh County Right to Life fundraising dinner in Evansville, Ind., April 16, 2009.    (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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(Newser) – Michael Steele got off to a rocky start in his job as chairman of the Republican National Committee but he promised he’d deliver election victories in places like New York’s 20th district. Now that the GOP has lost that election, Steele is catching flak. But, CQ Politics reports, criticism is surprisingly coming from Democrats, who are mocking his promise to make the race “a focal point.”

Steele’s harshest critics early on were fellow Republicans, who felt that missteps indicated that the wrong man had won the six-round race for the job. But runner-up Katon Dawson declined to bash Steele, and an anonymous party official said Steele’s ill-advised boosterism was understandable. “At a time when the party is a little bit demoralized, you kind of needed to inject a little bit of optimism.”