RNC chairman Michael Steele has called a press conference this evening, and the betting in Washington is that he'll announce he's foregoing a bid for a second term--then again, it's Michael Steele, so who really knows? The funniest thing I read over the weekend was a GOP operative speculating to Politico that Steele might've called the conference to announce he'd bought a new suit. Assume nothing.
But given the possibility that, just this once, Steele does NOT confound expectations and really is going to call it quits, NBC's "First Read" blog has put together a helpful retrospective of Steele's "Top 10 Gaffes." It's a compelling list, to be sure: calling Afghanistan "a war of Obama's choosing," telling Nancy Pelosi to "sit in the back of the bus," playing the race card, and so on. But it neglects the episode that I myself believe cemented Steele's hard-earned reputation for exquisite buffoonery, once and for all: Allowing himself to be photographed with RNC interns in a series of poses that would mortify even the most unselfconscious 11-year-old aspiring rapper. (See above.)
How Steele imagined he would ever again be taken seriously is beyond me--and it's not a semantic question. People forget, but only a few years ago, Steele was considered one of his party's brightest new stars. In any event, it'll be a shame if all that fun is about to end.
Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.