A Michael Steele Mystery Roundup
If you believe in the primacy of the news cycle, this has been a lousy week for RNC Chairman Michael Steele. He’s booked on “Face the Nation” this Sunday, and the questions may focus less on good news for his party, like the retirement of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), than this bizarre string of events:
- Steele embarked on a publicity blitz for his new political book — a book whose writing, apparently, was not common knowledge inside the RNC.
- During the PR blitz, Steele badmouthed the GOP’s readiness to lead after the next elections, prompting a backlash from Hill staffers.
- Also during the PR blitz, Steele mysteriously argued that he “didn’t seek” the RNC job. No one knew what he was talking about.
- Steele abruptly canceled an appearance on ABC’s web-only “Top Line” show, and the party gave “an emergency meeting” as the reason, prompting a good hour of speculation that he was on the way out.
To put this in context: On January 19, Massachusetts will hold a special election for the U.S. Senate. Conservative activists are increasingly excited about their chances. If (as expected) GOP candidate Scott Brown loses a fairly close race, what are conservative activists going to think about an RNC that, staying cautious, didn’t invest in the campaign — while its chairman was promoting a book?