Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman is considering a run for chairmanship of the RNC, POLITICO has learned, and has begun talking to associates about taking on Michael Steele, should the embattled current chairman seek another term in January.
Coleman is planning to attend the RNC’s summer meeting next month in Kansas City, in part to be on hand for a tribute to longtime New Jersey Committeeman David Norcross, who is stepping down from his party post. But senior Republicans say the former senator’s appearance at the committee’s gathering will also allow him to meet the party members who will pick the next chairman and signal to them that he’s interested in the job.
In the last month, Coleman has had private conversations with multiple high-level GOP officials about the party’s chairmanship in an attempt to sound out his prospects.
In an e-mail, the former St. Paul mayor said only that he was working to help Republicans in 2010.
“My focus is on the 2010 elections,” Coleman wrote in response to questions about his interest in the RNC post. “We have a huge opportunity to stop the Democrats’ out-of-control spending and losing the opportunity would be devastating for the country.”
A close confidante, however, said Coleman is “intrigued by the [RNC] opportunity.”
“He’s got a strong and growing interest in at least talking to people about if this makes sense for him to do,” said the confidante, who nonetheless emphasized that Coleman is thinking chiefly about this November’s elections.