Washington (CNN) – A bloc of conservatives on the Republican National Committee has recommended a "scoring system" to evaluate the clutch of the GOP insiders vying to replace RNC Chairman Michael Steele next year.
The 13-point "Leadership Criteria," discussed Monday on a private conference call by the Republican National Conservative Caucus but provided to CNN by a GOP source, would rate potential candidates on a range of criteria, including their vision for the party, managerial experience and an adherence to conservative principles outlined in the Republican Party platform.
And in a nod to the emerging power of the Tea Party movement, RNC candidates would be rated on their willingness to "actively graft into the Party the Tea Party activist branches" that now make up "the freedom movement in this country" along with the social, fiscal and foreign policy wings of the GOP.
Steele has sent strong signals to advisers and committee members that he is gearing up for a second term at the RNC, which will elect a chairman at the committee's Winter Meeting in Maryland next January.
Former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis is the only figure to have publicly announced a challenge to Steele, and he picked up a conservative stamp of approval Monday when Virginia committeeman Morton Blackwell endorsed his candidacy in a message to fellow RNC members.
Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus, a Steele loyalist, is being urged to run by both Steele allies and critics but is reluctant to make a move.
Priebus will be at the Republican Governors Association meeting in San Diego alongside Wisconsin governor-elect Scott Walker later this week, giving him a chance to meet with GOP heavyweights with a stake in the chairman's race. Anuzis will also be at the gathering.
A surfeit of names have come up in discussions with RNC members about potential Steele challengers, but those thought to be seriously considering bids are ex-Missouri GOP chairwoman and former Luxembourg Ambassador Ann Wagner, former RNC official Maria Cino and Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy.
The 26-member conservative caucus that convened Monday includes several longtime RNC members who have clashed with Steele since he assumed his post in January 2009, and several of their criteria appear to have been drafted in response to Steele's off-message media appearances and criticism over his handling of party finances.
According to the checklist, a candidate for the chairmanship should possess "a trustworthy character and winsome personality that he/she is capable of winning the confidence of donors to use their money wisely."
RNC candidates should also have the "skills and professional presence to articulate the Republican message accurately, clearly and concisely without superseding it with divergent personal views."
Steele came under fire from Republicans last year for suggesting that abortion is "an individual choice," and more recently for calling the conflict in Afghanistan "a war of Obama's choosing."
According to Indiana National Committeeman Jim Bopp, a leader of the conservative caucus, the suggested criteria will be considered for approval on a conference call next Monday by members of the RNC Conservative Steering Committee, a larger coalition of conservatives on the 168-member committee.
Bopp said the steering committee will also consider holding a public candidates forum in Washington, D.C. on December 1, along with a series of private interviews between the candidates and conservative members on December 2.
Read the "scoring system" after the jump:
13 Leadership Criteria for RNC Chairman Candidate
A Candidate for the position of RNC Chair should have:
1. A positive attitude and vision for the growth and success of the Republican Party with practical ideas to achieve their goals. (Vision.)
2. Appreciation and support for the solid base branches of social, fiscal and foreign policy conservatives in the Republican Party; and actively graft into the Party the Tea Party
activist branches that with this base make up the freedom movement in this country. (Promote Unity)
3. A thorough comprehension of and solid support for the conservative principles expressed in the Party Platform. (Support Platform)
4. The highest ethical standard of behavior in the Judeo-Christian tradition as demonstrated by reputation both private and public. (Integrity)
5. Such a trustworthy character and winsome personality that he/she is capable of winning the confidence of donors to use their money wisely. (Fundraising ability.)
6. A high level of management and organizational experience preferably but not limited to successful private sector business. (Managerial ability.)
7. Skills and professional presence to articulate the Republican message accurately, clearly and concisely without superseding it with divergent personal views. (Good Spokesperson)
8. Respect for the primary process and will not promote or support or be linked to any presidential candidate prior to the nomination. (Fair-minded)
9. Limits on personal ambitions while serving the RNC and its members along with the humility to work to achieve the goals of the Party regardless of who gets the credit. (Servant leader)
10. The physical stamina, intellectual ability, and spiritual maturity to withstand the pressures of the position without being corrupted. (Well-balanced)
11. Respect for the autonomy of the states and respect for their committee members and chairs as partners in the political process to be encouraged and empowered for success. (Member Empowerment.)
12. A finely tuned understanding of the political process that positions him/her to stay above and ahead of the competition in terms of cutting edge strategy, long range planning, and ability to be flexible in the face of rapidly changing realities. (Political savvy)
13. The respect of the various leadership members of the Republican Party to secure a seat at the table when high level discussion takes place. (Respect)
Scoring System – Matching words with deeds and records
3 points-excellent ability
2 points-fulfills requirement
1 point-weakly fulfills requirement
-1 point-does not meet requirement