Michael Steele · RNC · RNC Chairman

Just in Case: Post-R.N.C. Careers for Michael Steele

This is hilarious…

Vanity Fair

 The end of the Michael Steele era is reportedly nigh: according to Politico and Fox News, the Republican National Committee chairman will not dare attempt another term. Steele, for what it’s worth, is keeping mum until [tonight], when he has scheduled a group phone chat. “Steele sent an e-mail to committee members Saturday night with the subject line, ‘conference call,’” Fox News reports. Politico, which characterized the correspondence as “cryptic,” posted Steele’s message. It reads as follows: “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.” Supporters of Steele ought note that the dispatch is completely gaffe-free.

In any event, we’ve already discussed who might replace Steele, and why that person might have a comparatively easier time making friends. We have not, until now, thought about what Steele might do after his tenure ends—whenever that may be. For answers, we turned to the post-R.N.C. careers of five previous committee chairman.

Steele has several options:

Wait a bit, and run for Republican National Committee chairman again: Former chairman Mike Duncan, who lost his own re-election bid to Steele in 2009, may once again vie for Republican-fundraising’s highest office.

Come out of the closet and move to Chelsea: After years of speculation about his sexuality, former chair Ken Mehlman announced he was gay in 2010, four years after the end of his R.N.C. tenure.

Join a G.O.P. fundraising organization that was founded in opposition to Steele: Ed Gillespie, 2003–2005, works on behalf of Karl Rove’s money-aggregating operation, American Crossroads. In April, a former R.N.C. member told TPM that Gillespie, Rove, and the American Crossroads gang “are gathering the sinews of power and drawing off RNC resources.”

Run George W. Bush’s re-election campaign: Marc Racicot spent one year as the head of the R.N.C. before leaving to run Bush’s 2004 campaign.

Mount unsuccessful presidential and Senate runs: Jim Gilmore campaigned in the 2008 presidential election and in the 2008 Virginia senatorial race. As Gilmore is now a footnote in a story about Michael Steele, it almost goes without saying that neither effort was victorious.