Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, whose party lost both chambers of Congress in the midterm elections, will step down from his post when his two-year term ends in January, GOP officials said Thursday.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mehlman had not yet made his intentions public.
Also last night, Republican officials told The Times that Mr. Steele, who lost his bid for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, has been sought out to succeed Mr. Mehlman as national party chairman. Those Republican officials said Mr. Steele had not made a decision whether to take the post, as of last night.
Other Republican Party officials said some Republican National Committee (RNC) members, including state party chairmen, have mounted a move to have Mr. Steele succeed Mr. Mehlman.
But they said that President Bush's political adviser Karl Rove, who is Mr. Mehlman's mentor, would rather see Mr. Steele serve in the president's Cabinet, perhaps as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. These officials said no one has actually offered Mr. Steele either the RNC post or a Cabinet post.
Interesting. Y'all know how I feel about Steele, and I think he'd make a fabulous spokesman for the Republican Party. He's smart, eloquent, and has a backbone when it comes to speaking up on his issues. But I wonder, would the cabinet position Karl Rove wants for him be better for his political ambitions? Head of the RNC is high-profile, but where do you go from there?
Then again, if he takes a cabinet position, he's forever tied to Bush, which might not bode well for his future electoral battles. Hmmm. Either way, I'm excited to see more of him.