Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GOP's Ryder: Effort to Purge Republican Chairman Steele "Ironic"

Posted By on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 7:18 AM

John Ryder
  • John Ryder
Democrats aren't the only ones rethinking their way forward. The urge to re-group is something which even the victors in this year’s election seem to be obsessed by.

Speaking to a Tipton County Republican women’s group in Munford on Saturday, Memphis lawyer John Ryder shook his head in evident amazement at an ongoing move to shuffle the leadership deck in national Republican ranks.

“Think about the irony of this,” he said. “We just won one of the greatest victories a party has ever won in American electoral history. And the soon-to-be former Speaker of the House [Nancy Pelosi] has announced that she is running for election as minority leader, having lost 60-plus seats in her own caucus. And the victors are about to oust the national chairman.

“So go figure. I just thought that was an interesting kind of ironic juxtaposition,” repeated Ryder, who is considered close to the current Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, who last year named Ryder to chair the RNC’s national redistricting effort.

Steele is currently under fire from South Carolina Republican senator Jim DeMint and others, especially conservatives of the Tea Party persuasion, who want to replace Marylander Steele, who eked out a victory over several other contenders in 2009, becoming the first African American to head the national GOP.

On the subject of redistricting in Tennessee, Ryder acknowledged that the very size of the GOP’s overwhelming victory, which, among other things, gave Republicans an almost 2-to-1 majority in state House seats, might complicate efforts to reconfigure district lines, in the sense that newly elected GOP legislators might prefer to run for reelection with the same constituencies as before.

“But I’m confident that we’ll find a way that is fair,” he said.

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