Will GOP Kill Off Man of Steele?

One thing you can say about Michael Steele. He's no quitter.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele launched a fight to keep his job Monday, stunning many in the party who had expected him to step aside.

Running as an outsider, he was elected days after President Obama took office. Supporters saw him as a charismatic speaker who could give the party a new, more diverse image. But perceptions of Steele as an articulate messenger proved mistaken, as he stumbled into a series of verbal gaffes that never really ended.

Affirmative Action hires are a double edged sword - the bad PR for a firing can be every bit as hot as the good PR was for the hiring.

Last summer, his description of the conflict in Afghanistan as "a war of Obama's choosing" horrified Republicans who backed the effort and remembered its origins under Bush. And he suggested last winter that Republicans would not succeed in taking over the House, a view that left many in the GOP fuming, especially after the party's victories in November.

Management problems at party headquarters in Washington also drew increasing, and unwanted, attention. Steele's chief of staff and another aide were dismissed after nearly $2,000 in RNC money was spent at a sex-themed West Hollywood nightclub. A falloff in contributions from big donors gave critics another target.

Insiders say he has a tough road to reelection, but those are many of the same insiders who've already taken sides in the election.