Michael Steele may be the chairman of the Republican National Committee, but the GOP's real leader is Roger Ailes.
That's the contention of Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman, who says the Fox News president is "the closest thing there is to a kingmaker in Anti-Obama America. And that, in turn, makes him the de facto leader of the GOP."
In his latest column
, Fineman dismisses other Republican heavyweights like Steele, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. John McCain, both former President Bushes, and all of the prospective candidates for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
Instead, he makes the case for crowning Ailes, saying Ailes "has given invaluable publicity to the tea partiers, furnished tryout platforms to GOP candidates, and trained a fire hose of populist anger at the president and his allies in Congress. While Beltway Republicans wring their hands or write their tracts, Ailes has worked the countryside, using his feel for Main Street resentment to attract and give voice to this year's angriest — and most powerfu l— voter-viewers: those who hate the Feds, the Fed, and the Ivy League. It was Ailes who put the 'party' in the tea parties by giving them a round-the-clock national stage."
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