Fox News: Steele seeking Republican National Committee post
Fox News is reporting that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is interested in running for the chairmanship of the RNC and may announce his candidacy as early as Thursday. Fox further reports that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has issued a statement disavowing interest in the post.
In another sign that he's in the mix, there's even a draft Michael Steele website.
Picking Steele would be an interesting and symbolically potent choice for the GOP. He emerged during the party's convention over the summer as critical of the Republican party's outreach to minorities, noting in nationally televised interviews that there were fewer black delegates to the party's convention than in previous years. Barack Obama's dominance among minorities -- not just African-Americans -- and young voters has certainly upset a number of people in the party's hierarchy, who conclude that being an all-white party isn't a winning strategy in a country that will be majority-minority in the not too distant future.
Steele expressed interest in the national job four years ago, but was passed over in favor of Mike Duncan. He's now head of GOPAC, an organizaiton Gingrich once headed, dedicated to recruiting and supporting new Republican candidates. He's gotten speaking slots at the last two national conventions. In 2004, he was the GOP's answer to a keynote from a then-unknown Barack Obama, and this year, he coined one of the most memorable lines of the year when he implored the country to "Drill, baby, drill" as a solution to $100-plus a barrel oil.
He's a fairly straight-line conservative on policy matters but doesn't look or sound like a typical Republican, which may be what the party's going for at this point. So now, the battle cry is becoming "Run, baby, run."