MSNBC Hires Michael Steele

Five months after being ousted as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele has a new job–as an analyst on MSNBC.

“It’s an honor to contribute and engage in the dialogue on MSNBC,” said Steele. “I look forward to engaging a diverse audience to share insights and analysis about the people, issues, and events shaping America’s future. I’m sure our discussions will be both informative and a bit spirited!”

“I’m thrilled to have Michael join MSNBC,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president, in a press release.

The moves makes a certain amount of sense for the left-leaning network, which is adding Steele as a conservative voice–but one who isn’t exactly beloved by conservatives, after his time at the R.N.C. helm was marred by a string of embarrassing headlines.

Last year, an R.N.C. aide spent nearly $2,000 oat a West Hollywood strip club, and Politico reported last month that Steele billed the committee for a trip to Italy–charges the committee is now disputing. (He was also reportedly considering the purchase of a private plane.)

Steele’s money management was said to have turned off donors, and despite record-setting wins in the November elections, some Republicans grumbled that even more seats could have been won. Steele stood for re-election in January, but withdrew after he received only about a quarter of the committee’s support in the early balloting.

But in its release this morning, his new employer touted Steele’s tenure in glowing terms: “Steele left the RNC post earlier this year after setting a new direction for the Republican Party that led to record-setting fundraising totals and winning more seats at the federal, state, and local level since 1928.”


MSNBC Hires Michael Steele