By Liz Sidoti-Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) â€” The head of the Republican Party on Friday urged members to step up their efforts for the fall elections amid cautious confidence about the GOP winning several governorships and perhaps seizing control of Congress from President Barack Obama’s party.
“We can’t rest now,” GOP chairman MichaelÂ SteeleÂ told the Republican National Committee. “Everything we’ve been doing, and all that we must do, needs to be ramped up and maxed out in the next three months.”
“Sleep? What’s that? We can’t sleep until November 3rd,” he added.
Three months before the elections, it was all business and little celebration as the 168-member committee met this week to finalize Tampa, Fla., as the 2012 GOP convention city and set the presidential primary calendar that will begin in February of that year.
Unlike in years past, no White House hopefuls showed up. And Republicans attending the meeting were sober about the GOP’s prospects in November; a single sign said: “Playing to win in 2010.”
Mr. SteeleÂ did, however, try to rile up the committee and got a standing ovation with calls to fire House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Wearing a red “Fire Pelosi” cap, he announced that the RNC would sponsor a “Fire Pelosi” bus tour this fall.
“Get on the bus,” he yelled as a cardboard bus was pushed out onto the stage from which he spoke. It said: “Need a job? Fire Pelosi.”
The mostly serious tone of the meeting reflected the challenge Republicans have ahead of them as they seek to take advantage of conditions that at first blush seem ripe for a power shift in Democratic-controlled Washington.
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