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« Brain-In-A-Bag Friday | Main | I Love It When A Remake Comes Together: A-Team Trailer Now Online »
January 08, 2010

Steele Cancels TV Appearance As He's Summoned to "Emergency Meeting" at RNC HQ
Republican Leaders: We Were Stunned By Michael Steele's Announcement He Had a Book At All

Above-the-Post Update!

"Emergency Meeting:" From ABC's The Note, Rick Klein reports...

WOW @chairmanmsteele just canceled his Top Line appearance. 30 mins before show time, out of blue. 15 mins earlier we were told it was a go

we were told Steele was called into an "emergency meeting" at RNC HQ and needed to cancel press. we offered to do intvw from RNC cam...

... were told that was not possible because it would involve RNC resources. OK then.

no details on the "emergency" from @chairmanmsteele that necessitated late cancellation. will let you know when we learn more.

Claim: No "Emergency." There was a noon meeting, but the RNC is now disputing it was an emergency meeting, as Steele himself told ABC.

Thanks to DrewM. for that. I sorta think it was an emergency meeting myself.


Original post:

This occurred to me -- why did I/we not hear of the book deal upon signing? Why were not aware of this a year ago?

We weren't the only ones in the dark.

Republican congressional leaders say they did not know that their party chairman, Michael S. Steele, was publishing a book until it was released this week, and they had no input in drafting what Steele is promoting as the blueprint Republicans should follow to win back power.

The release of Steele's book, "Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda," surprised Republican congressional leaders, some of whom first learned of the book by watching Steele's television appearances this week, three top GOP congressional aides said Friday. The staffers would only describe their bosses' communications with the Republican National Committee chairman on condition of anonymity.

"The book came out and everybody went, 'Whoa, what happened?'" one aide said, adding that his employer, a senior House Republican, learned of the book by watching cable news.

"No one in the House or Senate leadership knew he had a book contract."

"He's freelancing," said another top congressional aide.

In other Steele news, he says he never sought the job of RNC chair, which will come as a surprise to those he ran against and those who voted for him (or voted against him).

I think Phil Klein is taking this a bit too literally -- he means he never had some lifelong ambition to do this, he just took the job because he was "called" to save his party or some nonsense -- but I read this statement as the first hesitant steps out the door.

"I never really wanted this job, you know" is the sort of thing people start saying as they acclimate themselves to the possibility of being fired or resigning.

And from yesterday: GOP aides warn Steele to button it.

Although RNC Research Director Jeff Berkowitz originally defended the campaign committee and Steele, aides ultimately acknowledged that they have little control over the former Maryland lieutenant governor and that they are not in charge of lining up his media appearances while he is promoting his book.

“Their response was, ‘We’re not booking the book stuff,’” a second GOP Senate aide said. And while RNC staff said they would try to get Steele “back on message,” this Senate aide said the frustration goes well beyond Steele’s latest statement [that the GOP can't take back the House this year], charging that he is using his position at the RNC to line his own pockets rather than raise much-needed campaign cash.

“Republicans at all levels have been working day and night to build a wave, and every time we turn around the guy standing on the surfboard is busy trying to collect admission to watch him ride,” the aide said, arguing that “he has an agenda of his own that isn’t reflected by the goals of the party as a whole.”

Eh, he's a good man, but this is not the job for him.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff for the tip on the emergency meeting.

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