Michael Steele to Seek Re-Election at RNC

Rumors to the contrary, the chairman of the Republican National Committee wants a second term.

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Michael Steele (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite many reports to the contrary, FrumForum has learned that Michael Steele, the gaffe-prone African-American chair of the Republican National Committee, will indeed seek re-election in January. According to an RNC executive close to the matter, it is "a certainty."

For days now, the most common speculation throughout the media was that Steele, the first black chair in RNC history, planned to announce in a conference call tonight that he would not run for a second term. Apparently, practically everyone in the media has been had. According to Fox News, "Steele is said to be amused by false reports of his retirement and intentionally kept his plans secret for the last month in order to flush out competitors for the post."

Though Steele has had more than a few embarrassing moments atop the GOP -- apologizing for calling Rush Limbaugh "ugly," striking rap-video poses for intern photo ops -- he has apparently not become so much of an eyesore as to have no establishment support for his re-election.

"Chairman Steele will be reelected because of his continued outstanding victories, raising more money than anybody else, and ability to communicate to more communities than any prior chairman," Shawn Steel, the National Committeeman from California, told FrumForum, pointing out also the important role that the RNC played in the 2009 gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey.

Idaho GOP chair Norm Semanko, who went to law school with Steele, recently wrote to RNC members in support of Steele: "Now is not the time to trade-in proven electoral success for unproven hope. Now is not the time to change leaders. And now is not the time to be distracted into internal strife and battles among one another for power and control of the GOP infrastructure."

Members of the Republican National Committee will vote on a chairman at a three-day conference beginning Jan. 13.

Read more at FrumForum.