Steele now in trouble over office redecoration

Add one more thing to the list of problems Republicans have with their new RNC chair.

Published March 16, 2009 4:35PM (EDT)

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele just can't seem to stop the wave of bad publicity he's gotten lately. Steele has now, rightly, pulled back from giving media interviews -- a smart strategy, considering that two of them got him in deep trouble, and convinced party faithful he wasn't spending enough time on rebuilding the RNC -- but that might not be enough to save his reputation.

The latest damaging leak about the RNC chair came in Monday's Roll Call. The paper reports that, despite a poor financial situation for the party apparatus generally, Steele is spending on redecorating his office. "[S]ome GOP insiders are grumbling that the new RNC leader has spent some of the organization's scant cash to remodel his Capitol Hill office, even as other pressing matters languish, like filling top staff positions," Roll Call says.

One of the big new adds is a Bowflex exercise machine, which prompted Roll Call to make a joke so corny even I would have balked: "Sources say a Bowflex exercise machine recently arrived at RNC headquarters, presumably for the chairman to work on those abs of Steele."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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