Since being elected as Republican National Committee chairman almost two years ago, Michael Steele has survived constant calls for his resignation, only to preside over historic GOP congressional wins. His reward? Probably losing his job.

The GOP chose Steele in a comical six-man contest at the party's nadir in early 2009. He prevailed over his main rival — South Carolina party chair Katon Dawson, who belonged to a whites-only country club — effectively ending racism forever in the Republican party.

Shortly thereafter, Steele started going, well, off-script on a regular basis, and spending all of the party's money. He spent election season riding around in a "Fire Pelosi" bus, where no one could hear him, and big party donors just gave their money to the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove's thing instead.

But! The Republicans did just win like 60 House seats and six Senate seats, didn't they? Why not keep Michael Steele onboard, since it clearly doesn't matter who's in charge? Well, "Republican leaders" supposedly think it will matter who's in charge during a presidential election. From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON - Turning their attention to the 2012 presidential election, Republican leaders are digging in for a battle over control of the Republican National Committee, judging that its role in fund-raising, get-out-the-vote operations and other tasks will be critical to the effort to topple President Obama.

Some senior party officials are maneuvering to put pressure on Michael Steele, the controversial party chairman, not to seek re-election when his term ends in January or, failing that, to encourage a challenger to step forward to take him on.


[Photo via Michael Steele's excellent 2009 intern photoshoot]