Tales from the Trail

Santorum staffer questions whether God wants women presidents

A staffer in Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign is under fire for an email suggesting a female commander-in-chief could be at odds with the Bible’s teachings.

The Des Moines Register last week reported that Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent an email over the summer asking, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?”

Michele Bachmann, a social conservative who campaigned heavily in Iowa, competed with Santorum over the conservative evangelical vote in the Iowa caucuses. She dropped out of the race after a dismal finish in the Iowa race.

This weekend Peter Waldron, Bachmann’s faith outreach coordinator, said the email was proof that Santorum had engaged in a “sexist strategy” to sabotage Bachmann. He demanded an apology from Santorum and called for Johnson’s firing.

The recent spat brings the issue of sexism in conservative politics to the fore again. When Bachmann ended her campaign, political observers wondered whether conservative perceptions of women and Bachmann’s own alignment with the Christian right and disavowal of feminism had been her undoing.

from Reuters Investigates:

Following the money in O’Donnell’s campaign

Mark Hosenball has been in Delaware and Pennsylvania reporting on the midterm election campaign for our special report "Conservative donors let Christine O'Donnell sink."

If that's not enough O'Donnell for you, here's his report from a bastion of conservative thinking in Delaware:

By Mark Hosenball

Republican Delaware senate candidate Christine O'Donnell may be the darling of both national and local Tea Party groups. But she's not particularly beloved at one of Delaware's most august and esteemed conservative organizations.

Steele staying put

steele2“I ain’t going anywhere,” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said on Thursday, in response to calls for his resignation from critics in his own party, MSNBC reported.

“I’m here. I’m here,” Steele said at the launch of the Colorado Republican Party’s 2010 “Victory” headquarters.

Steele brushed aside the criticism, calling it a “distraction.”   With victory in the November midterm elections at stake, Steele said he was focused on “winning.”

GOP’s Steele – political elite has been blind-sided

Recent electoral wins have pulled the Republican Party out of a tailspin that started at the height of its power in 1994, but it will be well-selected local candidates, more than the national party, that drives the agenda in November’s mid-term elections.

So says Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

USA-POLITICS/REPUBLICANSMost political pundits expect the GOP to pick up many House and Senate seats in the fall as part of a backlash against the incumbent Democrats and frustration over the weak economy and high unemployment.

“This fall I think you’ll see much more reliance on the candidates carrying the water in their states,” rather than the national party apparatus, Steele said during a lively exchange with students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Book? What book? GOP asks Steele

steeleRepublican Party Chairman Michael Steele is once again at odds with his party. This time it’s for calling for active opposition of the Obama agenda. What’s wrong with that, you ask. Well, he did it in a book. A book GOP leaders knew nothing about until it hit the shelves.

According to Amazon.com, Steele’s book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda,” “throws down the gauntlet,” and makes an argument for “abandoning ‘conservatism-lite,’ returning to core conservative principles, and launching an uncompromising campaign for limited government.”

The book is said to be highly critical of the party and has angered Republican congressional leaders who feel such a blueprint for the party should have included their input. Some GOP leaders only learned of the book when Steele began promoting it in television appearances this week.