Steele weathering disaffection in RNC

By: Ralph Z. Hallow, The Washington

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele has maneuvered through a minefield of internal discontent, emerging from a critical party gathering with his authority intact and a strategy to harness the energy of the “tea party” movement to the Republican cause.

High-profile Republican gubernatorial wins in Virginia and New Jersey and a victory in the recent special Senate election in Massachusetts have helped quiet grumbling within the RNC over Mr. Steele, whose position and authority seemed shaky just a few months ago.

A feared open revolt against the former Maryland lieutenant governor fizzled at the 168-member RNC’s winter gathering in Honolulu over the weekend, despite lingering questions about the party’s finances and the chairman’s side business dealings.

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