Michael Steele calling it quits?

Some expect GOP chief -- haunted by Limbaugh, abortion and a pricey bill at a bondage club -- to step aside today

Topics: Michael Steele, Republican Party,

Michael Steele calling it quits?FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks during an election night gathering in Washington. A significant bloc of RNC members wants Steele to step aside, but the rank and file have failed to settle on a clear alternative to the embattled party leader with balloting in just two months, according to Associated Press interviews with committee members. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)(Credit: AP)

Two years ago, the campaign for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee brought us “Barack the Magic Negro” and a whites-only country club. What does next month’s RNC election have in store for us?

Not Michael Steele, apparently. Tonight, the embattled RNC chairman will announce his decision on a re-election bid, and all signs point to his stepping aside.

On Saturday night, Steele sent an email to committee members, inviting them to join him for a private conference call at 7:30 tonight:

“Dear Members, Please join me for a private conference call, Monday December 13th at 7:30pm (EST). For your personal conference code please RSPV to … Thank you, and I look forward to talking to you Monday evening. Michael.”

Several publications are reporting that Steele is expected to announce his decision not to run for re-election. Politico was among the first to report that Steele would probably bow out — yet the Politico story emphasized twice that Steele’s allies say he has not revealed his plans.

Two main signs point to a decision to step aside. First, Steele has not built the kind of campaign team needed to fend off tough challenges from a growing list of potential opponents. Second, the format of tonight’s call makes a re-election bid unlikely:

Three Steele critics who received the e-mail said they took the fanfare-free message as an indication that he is unlikely to mount a reelection bid.

The call will give Steele an extended platform to deliver a message to his committee. But if he were announcing a run, he would be more likely to build support by contacting members individually.

Last month, Steele presided over the biggest landslide victory in the House of Representatives in more than 60 years, as well as more modest gains in the Senate. But Steele has drawn criticism for uttering whatever thoughts happen to enter his head — including two major no-nos for a Republican: calling abortion an “individual choice” and attacking Rush Limbaugh’s show as “incendiary” and “ugly” — and for poor fundraising efforts that have seen the RNC consistently outraised by its Democratic counterpart. This March saw the “nail in the coffin” for Steele, according to a Tea Party leader, when The Daily Caller revealed that the RNC had dropped nearly $2,000 at high-end Hollywood bondage club.

Steele, the first African-American chairman of the RNC, will be succeeded by the winner of a RNC election whose front-runners include a man accused of race-baiting and defending a white nationalist, and a guy named Gentry. This ought to be fun.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • 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>