Ineffective RNC Chair Mel Martinez Resigns…

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Mel Martinez, who took the job as Karl Rove’s messenger boy and the public face of the Republican National Committee, has resigned. The depth of Martinez’s failure cuts across several political lines from trying to sell an unpopular lame-duck president, to publicly parting ways with Republican congressional leaders earlier this year on immigration issues. Then there’s the 2010 election, which no longer appears to be a lock. His approval rating in Florida is 37 percent. 

“It was my goal as general chairman to lead the party as it established the structure and raised the resources necessary to support our presidential candidate and ensure Republican victories next November,” Martinez said. “I believe we have accomplished those goals. That’s why it is the appropriate time for me to step down as general chairman and continue to focus my energy on serving my constituents in Florida.”

I smell defeat.   

It is true that the GOP has out-raised the DNC by about $20 million during Martinez’s tenure, however he was entrusted with rebuilding the RNC as a fighting force, after last fall’s disastrous defeat for the Republicans. He has failed to do that – and it appears now he doesn’t want to be around for another anticipated tail-whipping next November, as GOP presidential candidates and congressional candidates continue to flounder.

President Bush, who worked with Martinez on the failed immigration campaign earlier this year, said the senator had helped elevate key issues during his nine-month tenure. “Because of his leadership, more Americans understand the Republican Party’s efforts to grow our economy, support our troops, strengthen our schools, and protect our country,” 

We understood all along George. The GOP position is the same old six to eight talking points that it has been since 1981. Martinez didn’t add anything significant to the conversation – he was simply an administration parrot.

Here’s what Bush didn’t tell you…

In 2008, Republicans have twice as many seats to defend as Democrats next year in the Senate, Democratic presidential candidates are raising twice as much money as the Republicans, and it looks like the Republicans will even have trouble holding its ground in the House. To make things worse, several House Republicans have recently announced they won’t stand for re-election next year. The Republican congressional campaign committee is also in debt, while the Democrats’ committee said Wednesday it has raised $28 million. Oklahoma representative Tom Cole said, “Right now we’re in a race with ankle weights.” Without campaign funds to spread around, the party is having trouble recruiting candidates. Meanwhile, the Iraq war has energized liberal Democratics and angered independents, who deserted the Republican Party in the 2006 election and seem unlikely to return.

What has Martinez done to stem all of this chaos? Nothing, because he was unfit for the job – another Rove good-old-boy who tried to apply the ‘your-either-with-us-or-against-us’ strategy unsuccessfully. What has happened instead is that the GOP is now boxed squarely in a political corner, as they try to shake off continual corruption scandals and anti-Iraq War sentiment.

Martinez didn’t resign to concentrate on his reelection bid, he was thrown overboard by the RNC, who I’m sure cited his utter failure as chairman, as he failed to achieve anything that would protect GOP seats. His departure signals a party that is clearly in trouble for 2008. Not even a Reagan throw-back like Fred Thompson will save these guys this time, let alone a pro-immigration reform RNC chair who couldn’t raise any money. 

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Posted on October 20, 2007, in 2008 Presidential Election, Politics, Republican Party and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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