Friday, January 30, 2009

RNC: The Man of Steele

UPDATE 5:45 p.m. ET: Well, it's over, and now the MSM takes over to distort everything. Michael Steele is predictably misidentified as a "moderate" by the Associated Press. Sigh. And here's Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post seeking the Pulitzer Prize for non sequiturs:
Asked about the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh and his back and forth with President Barack Obama, Steele was careful not to wholly embrace the controversial conservative talk radio host. "Rush will say what Rush has to say, we will do what we have to do as a party," said Steele.
Eh? What does that have to do with anything? When was Howard Dean ever asked about any "controversy surrounding" Keith Olbermann or Randi Rhodes or Dan Rather?

Thanks to Dan Riehl for the linkage. A good roundup at Hot Air.

After the fifth ballot, I went outside to have a smoke and found myself chatting with Sally Atwater, widow of former RNC chairman Lee Atwater. Wow.

UPDATE: Hey, get your DNC talking points via Politico.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m. ET: Sixth ballot:
  • Steele 91
  • Dawson 77

A hard-fought battle. Steele just gave his acceptance speech. Will update later with sundry notes.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m. ET: Fifth ballot:

  • Steele 79
  • Dawson 69
  • Anuzis 20

Anuzis announces his withdrawal but does not endorse. If Steele can get just one-third of the Anuzis vote, Steele wins.


UPDATE 2:50 p.m. ET: Fourth ballot:

  • Dawson 62
  • Steele 60
  • Anuzis 31
  • Blackwell 15
Hmmm. Looks like 28 of Duncan's votes went to Dawson, so my friend who warned earlier to watch out for Katon might have been onto something. If Steele and Anuzis could join forces, that's it. Next vote set to begin at 3 p.m., results probably by 3:20.

BTW, of all people, guess who I just bumped into? Vanderbilt Professor Carol Swain.


FOLLOW-UP 2:31 p.m.: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers. After the 3rd ballot, Blackwell, Steele and Duncan were seen conferring in a corridor. That conference apparently was related to Duncan's subsequent withdrawal. In his withdrawal speech, Duncan said, "Obviously, the winds of change are blowing at the RNC." He got a standing ovation, but did not endorse any of the other candidates. Members voted down a motion to delay the 4th ballot. Will update with the results. If Duncan's people back Steele, that's it. We shall see.

EARLIER: Third ballot:
  • Steele 51
  • Duncan 44
  • Dawson 34
  • Anuzis 24
  • Blackwell 15
Hmmm. Steele takes the lead, but Dawson slightly closes the gap. Somebody pointed out that if Duncan were to drop out now, he could throw his support to another candidate and probably be the kingmaker. But if he keeps losing votes on successive ballots, he won't have that power much longer.

An RNC staffer (and Duncan supporter): "Off the record? I think you've got to watch out for Katon." All manner of crazy speculation among the press corps. We shall see.

Second ballot:
  • Duncan 48
  • Steele 48
  • Dawson 29
  • Anuzis 24
  • Blackwell 19
Duncan held onto most of his first-ballot support, but Steele moves into a tie. Blackwell dropping below 20 is ominous for him. Just talked to John LaBeaume, who points out that Blackwell endorsing Dawson (or vice-versa) would produce a bloc of 48 votes. A combo of Anuzis and Steele would control 72 votes. Too early to tell yet which way this will swing.

First ballot:
  • Duncan 52
  • Steele 46
  • Dawson 28
  • Anuzis 22
  • Blackwell 20
Steele was stronger than expected, and Blackwell weaker than expected. My best source had predicted 55 for Duncan on the first ballot, so he came in lower than predicted. A Blackwell supporter just said it's 1997 all over again, when Nicholson got 23 votes on the first ballot but pulled out to win in six ballots.

Assume: 52 votes is the ceiling for Duncan. As someone in Press Row pointed out, that's 116 votes for change.

They just gave the call for members and proxies to vote for the second ballot. Expect further updates . . .



  1. I just went over and read JP Freire's take. It sounds like a race to see who can run fastest away from conservative principles in order to pander to a specific constituency. How pathetic. How depressing.

  2. Thanks for blogging this! If you didn't do this, I wouldn't know where else to get the information - even the "Rebuild the Party" site was kinda quiet about this part of the election, you know, the voting.

  3. Oh my God!
    This is too funny!
    Anyone remember that adage about being doomed to repeat your mistakes?
    Steele is Sarah Palin redux!
    If anyone ever qualified for affirmative action candidate, it is Steele! This is hilarious!
    Talk about a token gesture! Oh this is too much!
    What, you don't think this is transparent?
    I wonder if Mitt Romney pulled off the road and cried in his car when he heard that the RNC chairman is an African-American?
    I love this.
    This is like when the McCain campaign tried to mirror the Obama "Change" campaign...
    Send out the dogs! The Conservative party is lost in the Tundra....
    Send in the clowns, rather....
    I'm going to go laugh myself to sleep now.

  4. You're a collectivist clown, Y4-E.

    Michael Steele (much like Condi Rice) has seen and heard it all already from you "tolerant" progressives. He has had Oreos thrown at him, been photo-shopped in blackface, been called Uncle Tom, Black Sambo, you name it, all by Democrats.

    Please, keep it up. You and your hateful, hacktastic lefties never fail to expose yourselves as the least tolerant among us.

    Here's another example:

    On the Hatred of the (Gay) Left

    Read the comments thread. I dare you.

  5. A great choice for the GOP. I'm pumped.

  6. There's a Pulitzer for non sequiturs? Where do I sign up?

    Steele will be painted by the MSM and the Left as a black man hastily recruited to put a black face out in front of the GOP as a reaction to Obama's election. But who cares what they think? What matters is if he can rejuvenate the GOP.

  7. Long time reader, first time commenter. I got a chuckle out of that AP article on Michael Steele. Noticeably missing is the word "historic." Racial progress only counts if you're a Democrat, apparently.

  8. Oh man, this is too good.
    Another commenter, Rae, gave me a diatribe about
    the abuse Steele has received supposedly at the hands of dems and libs. Hey Rae, cry me a river why don't you. While I don't condone the kind of language used on Mr.Steele I do recall very recently the language used by Cons and Repugs vs. Obama. But I digress.

    Deuce has left a comment about how the MSM will paint Steele.He is mistaken in that it isn't just the MSM but a majority of Americans who will see this move for what it is.
    But I digress.

    The beauty of this move is the fact that...CHANGE HAS COME!
    Obama hasn't been POTUS for a month and already he is changing the way even Republicans are doing politics( albeit in a somewhat cynical way).
    Yes folks. All that time you guys spent trying to figure out what Obama meant by " change" and here it is.Because at the end of the day there is no denying that Mr.Steele is a hamfisted response to Obama. Safe to say that if Hillary would have won... naw. That's Palin territory.
    And to the commenter who is whining about why this isn't being portrayed as historic: how is this historic?
    Unless you mean that Cons/Repugs actually voted an African-American into some kind of leadership role....
    Change is coming folks. Why damn! It's already here!

  9. The lesson here is, you just can't win with scuzzy collectivists, nor should you even try.

    You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    They ignore the fact that Steele campaigned hard for the Chairmanship, just like they ignore the fact that Republicans have elected (and appointed) scores of individuals who happen to be minorities.

    What is it about progressivism that requires so many untruths (and groups of "victims") in order to advance it?

    Collectivism is really quite sickening. Not to mention un-American.

    Anyways, Blackwell was my guy since he's the most conservative of the bunch. But now that Voinovich (RINO-OH) isn't seeking re-election, I would love to see him run for Senate in '10.

    I know you were pulling for Anuzis, Stacy. I'm sure the RNC has a place for him and his mad tech skillz. Who won co-chair, is my question.