Michael Steele’s First 100 Days: A Retrospective

Countless media outlets are paying close attention to the benchmark of President Obama’s 100th day in office.  Not as many are focusing on the first 100 days of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.Steele was elected Chair of the RNCon Friday, January 30, ten days after President Obama was sworn in.  The 100 day mark will be on May 9.  While it’s 10 days early, I thought today would be a good time to reflect on the highlights of RNC Chair Michael Steele’s first 100 days.January 30 (Day 1): Michael Steele is elected RNC Chair.February 4 (Day 6): Steele makes his first visit to New York’s 20th Congressional district to help Republican nominee Jim Tedisco in the upcoming special election.  Steele subsequently boasts that a Tedisco victory would be a “credible repudiation” of President Obama and the Democratic Congress.  The race is thought to be an easy pick-up for Republicans given that the GOPenjoys a 70,000+ voter advantage over Democrats in the district.

February 9 (Day 11): Steele refers to President Obama’s economic stimulus bill disparagingly as “bling bling.”  The ensuing laughter is at Steele rather than with Steele.

February 19 (Day 21): The Washington Times runs an interview with Steele in which Steele commits to an “off the hook” PR effort aimed at younger voters by applying conservative principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”  The laughter at Steele continues.

February 23 (Day 25): Steele makes clear that he is open to withholding RNC funds from the re-election campaigns of the three Republican Senators who voted in support of President Obama’s economic stimulus bill, perhaps making them feel no longer welcome in the Republican Party.

February 25 (Day 27): Steele sends “slum love” to Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

March 1 (Day 31): Steele belittles conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh as “ugly,” “incendiary,” and just “an entertainer.”

March 2 (Day 32): Steele promptly apologizes to Limbaugh for his comments, illustrating who truly runs the Republican Party.

March 10 (Day 40): Rumors emerge that Steele may face a no-confidence vote before the Republican National Committee.

March 25 (Day 55): In an interview with CNN, Steele insists that “there is a rationale, there’s a logic behind” his mistakes and gaffes.

April 24 (Day 85): Republican Jim Tedisco concedes defeat in the NY-20 special election that Steele earlier boasted would be a “credible repudiation” of President Obama and the Democratic Congress.

April 28 (Day 89): Senator Arlen Specter announces that he will defect from the Republican Party and join the Democratic Party.

May 9 (Day 100): ???

In less than 100 days, Steele led the GOP to defeat in what should have been an easy pick-up in a House special election, lost a Senator to a Party switch, became the subject of no-confidence vote rumors, embarrassed himself over and over again, and convinced America that Rush Limbaugh controls the Republican Party.  I’ll give Steele considerable credit – one must keep extremely busy to fit that many “strategic” gaffes into less than 100 days.

I’ll close this retrospective with the DNC’s video montage of Steele’s epic fail in the NY-20 special election:

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