GOP Leaders, Donors Shun Steele

Is RNC Chairman Michael Steele the loneliest man in Washington? Republican leaders and donors, who already had a frosty relationship with Steele, are unlikely to warm up to him after the RNC was exposed to have reimbursed a $2,000 trip to a bondage-themed strip club by a group of young donors. The Daily Caller notes that, since Steele took over the RNC, at least eight of the RNC’s top political donors, including Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, have stopped giving to the group and directed their dollars toward the Republican Senate and Congressional Campaign Committees or to individual campaigns. Meanwhile, a Republican close with the congressional GOP leadership tells The Hill, “Steele lacks a base of support. The donors, the activists will all drop him if they sense he might squander the electoral opportunity of the decade." Fox News, however, says Steele may be staying put: Though RNC members are “frustrated” with Steele, “Ultimately, these insiders said, Steele's job is to win elections—and the GOP has done well on that score lately.”