Michael Steele might reluctantly accept awesome obligation

Amid fanfare, RNC chairman unwillingly launches non-campaign for the White House

Topics: Michael Steele, War Room,

Michael Steele might reluctantly accept awesome obligationFILE - In this April 16, 2009, file photo, Republican National Chairman Michael Steele answers a a question during a news conference at a fundraising dinner in Evansville, Ind. Despite a flurry of missteps that have drawn criticism in Washington, Steele still enjoys the support of many state party chiefs, grass-roots activists and, most importantly, Republican National Committee members who hired, and can fire, him.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)(Credit: AP)

If there’s one thing the people of this country want to see in the 2012 presidential election, it’s some off-the-hook campaigning. Yes, whether they live in urban hip-hop settings or suburban ones, the American people are crying out for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

Asked at the GOP’s winter meeting about whether he might run for president next time around, the chairman of the Republican National Committee replied, “Come on, don’t ask me that.” (ABC News, which seems to think the question is not only sensible, but “inevitable,” has the story.)

Steele continued, “In all honest-to-good seriousness, that is such silly Washington talk. It’s just not even on my mind.”

Not convinced? Because he’s not done yet.

Let me tell you where my head and heart are. I’m a guy who thought it important to say, “Put me in coach.” And when I help the party return to a governing majority, a stronger GOP, a party that really understands what it’s about and what it believes in and is willing every day to go out there and fight for it.

So, that’s a maybe? Looks like you won’t rule it out?

“I just did. I don’t know how many different ways I can do that. How many different ways can you spell ‘no’?”

Steele’s three rounds of non-denial before getting to “no” are classics of the genre. He wants the reporter to look absurd for pressing him on it — and in fairness to Steele, the idea of him as president is absurd — but he’s the one who is at obvious pains to keep the idea in play.

You Might Also Like

Or, as he told CNN last year when asked if he’d ever thought of running, “No. I’m telling you. I’m looking at you in the eye honestly and telling you. Without blinking, without hesitation. Straight up.”

Asked the interviewer, “Would you consider it?”

I’d consider it if the opportunity were there and it was right. But, you know, God has a way of revealing stuff to you, and making it real to you, through others. And if that’s part of the plan, it’ll the plan … You cannot plan this. There are too many moving parts to plan this … I would think about it.

Remember, this is the guy who furiously glad-handed for his job, then claimed a year later not to have asked for it. So if American voters are looking for a president who won’t exactly ask for the tough job, but will accept it if it’s thrust upon him — well, put him in, coach.

Gabriel Winant is a graduate student in American history at Yale.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>