He’s the recent GOP chairman, so surely he’d have a place at the RNC convention in Tampa. Look at all the past chairmen who got invites.
There were several major players there: Priebus himself, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson, Barbour and nephew Henry Barbour, former Virginia governor and former RNC chair Jim Gilmore, former chair Mike Duncan, and others.
With the presence of Priebus, Barbour, Gilmore, and Duncan, the event featured the current and three former chairmen of the party. But there was one very recent chairman who was nowhere to be found, and whose name didn’t come up: Michael Steele.
Why is this? It’s not like he didn’t kick ass in his time as chairman.
Steele was chairman when the party selected Tampa as the site of its 2012 convention. Steele was chairman when the GOP came roaring back after defeats in 2006 and 2008 to pick up 63 seats to gain control of the House in 2010, and also to gain six seats to greatly strengthen its position in the Senate. In addition, during Steele’s time in office, Republicans won key governorships in New Jersey and Virginia.
So why was he absent?
Asked about Steele’s absence, an RNC source noted that most past party chairmen are also part of their state’s delegations to the Tampa convention, and are thus automatically part of events here. “Nobody is ‘invited,’” the source said. “You either are part of a delegation or not. The people from, say, Wisconsin are delegates and alternate delegates.” At the University Club event, however, there were several people who were not officially part of a delegation but rather guests of those who were. “Each of those people [delegates and alternates] gets a guest pass, but it would be up to them,” says the source.
So nobody is invited, unless they’re invited by people attending. Some people got invited. Some (Steele) didn’t.
This is peculiar since…
Steele is the party’s only black chairman at a time when Republicans are particularly worried about their continuing difficulties in attracting minority voters.
You’d think somebody would’ve invited him for political expedience, if only for the sake of appealing to the African American vote. Perhaps the difficulty drawing that vote is in the approach. For instance, I just went to Mitt Romney’s facebook page and ganked the first bunch of photos on it. Notice something missing (Hint: black people)?
It’s like a Where’s Waldo book without Waldo.
There was actually one photo of a black dude.
I love how it’s just “tax payers” with no qualifiers, suggesting that everybody will feel a relief from the tax strain if Romney gets into the Oval Office. Of course, if Romney gets in, taxpayers will still get the bill, just not the wealthiest tax payers. Why go to the blood bank when you can keep trying to get blood from a stone, right? Romney 2012! Woooooooooooo!
Maybe Steele just isn’t popular for some other reason, like leaving debt or what not (y’know, all the things those other past chairmen did too, to lesser results than what Steele achieved), but given how fervently the RNC has doubled down on appealing to the nuttiest of the nutty, I suspect Steele wasn’t invited because of the political expedience of catering to the people in these pictures.