Less then a week after Eric Cantor was stunningly crushed in a Republican primary election, Former RNC Chair (Jan ’09 – Jan ’11) Michael Steele is suggesting that Cantor might be suited for a position as the leader of the National Republican Party. Apparently nothing screams a guy is party leadership material like getting rejected by his own party’s voters in a congressional primary. Steele claims that there is a “lot of interest” in having Eric Cantor become the next chair of the Republican National Committee. Steele made his remarks on MSNBC’s Up With Steve Kornacki .
It is certainly not unusual for a politician recently defeated in an election to take on a political post after losing. However, the idea of having Cantor, who was so thoroughly rejected in humiliating fashion on Tuesday, take over as the head of the Republican National Committee is simply bizarre. Perhaps, Michael Steele, Eric Cantor and other leading figures of the Republican establishment have become so politically tone deaf that they think Tuesday night’s result were some kind of peculiar anomaly rather than a message directed at the GOP leadership.
Perhaps Steele is unaware that Cantor is disliked by most rank and file Republicans. A Huff Post/YouGov poll this week found that just 28 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of Cantor compared to 39 percent who view him negatively. Other members of the GOP leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner did not fare much better. While Michael Steele and other Republican Party operatives may think Cantor is a good choice for taking over as chair of the RNC, Republican voters disagree. The Tea Party is swallowing the Republican Party alive and GOP leaders are slow to grasp how badly they have lost control of the party.
The Republican Party can choose to select Cantor to run the RNC if they wish, but if they do, chances are it will not end well for Mr. Cantor or for the Republican Party. Michael Steele apparently missed the wake up call on Tuesday evening. He must be a very sound sleeper, because if Tuesday night’s rude awakening did not move him from his intellectual slumber and his clueless complacency, probably nothing will.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.