Norm Coleman, the former senator from Minnesota who narrowly lost out to comedian Al Franken in a Senate race in 2008 is reportedly considering challenging Michael Steele for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee:
Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman reportedly is considering a run for chairmanship of the Republican National Committee and has begun talking to associates about taking on Michael Steele should the embattled current chairman seek another term in January. Coleman plans to attend the RNC’s summer meeting next month in Kansas City, Mo., in part to be on hand for a tribute to longtime New Jersey Committeeman David Norcross, who is stepping down from his party post. But senior Republicans say Coleman’s appearance will allow him to meet the party members who will pick the next chairman and signal to them that he’s interested in the job. In the past month, Coleman has spoken with high-level GOP officials about the chairmanship in an attempt to sound out his prospects. In an e-mail, the former St. Paul mayor said only that he was working to help Republicans in 2010. “My focus is on the 2010 elections,” he wrote in response to questions about his interest in the RNC post. A close confidante, however, said Coleman is “intrigued by the (RNC) opportunity.” “He’s got a strong and growing interest in at least talking to people about if this makes sense for him to do,” said the confidante, who nonetheless emphasized that Coleman is thinking chiefly about November’s elections. That such a well-known party figure as Coleman is even engaged at this point in behind-the-scenes discussions about leading the party illustrates how anxious many in the GOP are to push out Steele after this election cycle.