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Norm Coleman won’t run for RNC chair if Steele does

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman says he will not mount a campaign for chairman of the Republican National Committee if Chairman Michael Steele decides to run for re-election.

“If he’s in, then I’m out,” Coleman said during an interview with The Daily Caller.

Steele, whose term is up in January, has not publicly stated whether he’ll run again. Top Republicans, however, say they wouldn’t be surprised if Steele decides against a re-election effort.

Coleman, who lost re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008 by only several hundred votes after a lengthy recount, elaborated on his thinking: “Michael Steele is a friend. He has been for many years. I’m not going to run against the chairman.”

But he refused to rule out running in the case Steele doesn’t.

“I’m not in a position to speculate what-if-he-doesn’t,” Coleman said. “At that point, it becomes speculation.”

Former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber, who said he’s spoken with Coleman about the chairmanship contest, thinks the former senator is “very interested” in running.

“I think Norm would be a great RNC chairman and I think if the party wanted him, he’d absolutely run for it,” Weber said. “I’m not convinced he’s going to make a run for it though.”

Weber added that he thinks it would take “some expression of interest from within the RNC” and a clear desire for him to take over the committee before Coleman would commit to running.

Coleman is now serving as the CEO of both the American Action Network and its sister organization, the American Action Forum.

The long list of those thinking of running, or mentioned as possible candidates, also includes: former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis; former Bush administration official Maria Cino; Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus; former RNC chairman Mike Duncan; former ambassador Ann Wagner; former Steele aide Gentry Collins; Mississippi GOP committeeman Henry Barbour; RGA executive director Nick Ayers; Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy and California GOP chairman Ron Nehring.

  • Patrick Henry

    “Norm Coleman won’t run for RNC chair if Steele does”
    All I can say is thank God. The last thing we need is a RINO like Coleman dictating the fate of the RNC. Remember this but for one single Senate vote we would be drilling in ANWAR right now. Who cast that NO VOTE: NORM COLEMAN.

    • patrick

      Outstanding analysis. If RINO POS is in the dictionary there is a pic of Norm next to it.

      • Patrick Henry

        Patrick:
        LOL, no doubt Norms picture will be their, but it will be a large group picture.

  • MikeWSmith

    That’s why RNC shouldn’t want Norm Coleman – not enough fire in the belly (i.e. see loss to Al Franken).

  • UncleDon

    Noooooo, can’t risk insulting the one black guy in the party….GET RID OF STEELE and quit tiptoeing around the gorilla in the corner of the room (no pun intended)

    • thephranc

      One black guy?

    • Patrick Henry

      UncleDon:
      Stupidity of the type you have displayed needs no response.

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