Martinez Under Pressure to Use RNC Funds for Senate Candidates
This writer was one of many who did not think that Senator Mel Martinez (seen above with his RNCpredecessor, Ken Mehlman) had the chops to lead the Republican National Committee (though it had nothing to do with his stance of immigration, which puts him to the left of the Republican base). Frankly, nothing has happened since he took charge to change my opinion.
But until recently, he was doing nothing to make the situation worse for national Republicans - but that may have changed. Martinez appeared to be sending a subtle signal that the RNC may be discreetly ceding the presidency to the Democrats in '08.
What do I mean?
Martinez recently told the Hill, and insider baseball publication: "Traditionally, in presidential years the RNC has not been of much help to either of the committees,” he said, referring to the NRSC and its House counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee. “My hope is that this year we can be of some help, that we can raise enough funds to take care of our presidential needs and also help Republican [Senate] candidates."
In 2006, then RNC chair Ken Mehlman poured tens of millions of dollars into Senate and Congressional races, but the RNC and DNC traditionally save their 2008 ammo for the presidential campaign, something that Martinez alluded.
By leaving out there the possibility of draining valuable resources from their presidential operation, Martinez is admitting the possibility that the best the Republicans can do next year is hold on to their current seats in the House and Senate (with, perhaps, some gains in the House and some losses in the Senate) and that it may impossible for the Republicans to hold onto the White House because of President Bush's low numbers, his unpopular war, and a seemingly neverending stream of scandals (including the Walter Reed scandal that has been spread all the way down to Florida to affect Pinellas Congressman Bill Young).