"Doug was exactly what the RNC needed, a well respected communicator on Capitol Hill with relationships and savvy that helped them through some tough times this past year," said Dan Ronayne, a Republican strategist who has worked with Heye in the past. "Would hate to imagine how bad things might have gotten had Doug not been brought on. He has the respect of his peers and the media and was an effective day-to-day advocate for the committee in some important circles."
"No dispute, Doug had the most difficult political communications job this cycle, and he handled it with great skill and grace," added Lisa Miller, a former RNC communications director. "There is no more difficult job than defending your boss to the media when that boss makes bad public decisions."
Still, Heye's departure is not good news for Steele, who is running for a second term. Steele has struggled to earn support among committee members, and many have cited a high staff turnover among their reasons for concern over his tenure.