Steele eyes RNC chairmanship

STEELE EYES RNC CHAIRMANSHIP…. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reported that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) is “mulling a bid for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.” The date on Cillizza’s report? November 8, 2006.

Two years and one week later, here’s yet another Cillizza report on the exact same person seeking the exact same gig.

Former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele said yesterday that he will seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, a move sure to shake up the race for control of a party demoralized by losses in last week’s elections.

When Steele first sought the gig, the Bush White House was unimpressed with him — Karl Rove, in particular, was reportedly opposed to the idea of Steele taking the lead at the RNC — and instead chose Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) for the chairmanship. This time, the Bush gang won’t make the decision; RNC members will. And Steele appears to be a leading contender for the post.

I can appreciate the racial component to this. Republicans want to appear more inclusive, and Steele, who is African American, would presumably help the GOP’s image. That said, it’s hard to imagine why Republican insiders would want Steele to help lead the party. We are, after all, talking about a man who got caught hiring homeless people to lie to voters. (On second thought, RNC members might find that impressive.)

Indeed, whenever I see Steele, I immediately think of the editorial the Washington Post ran on his U.S. Senate candidacy in 2006, which described Steele as a man of “no achievement, no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues.” Noting his four-year tenure as Maryland’s lieutenant governor, the Post added, “Steele had at best a marginal impact, even on his handpicked projects.”

My hunch is, a lot of Democrats are watching the race for the RNC chairmanship and hoping that Steele gets the nod.