Earlier this week, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele surprised his fellow Republicans by releasing a new book, Right Now: A 12-Step Program For Defeating The Obama Agenda. The book, and Steele’s efforts to promote it, have angered congressional Republicans and GOP operatives, who feel he is putting them “in tremendously difficult situations.” In an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show today, Steele tried to deflect criticism of the book by saying that he wrote it before he became the chairman of the RNC:
STEELE: So, all the talk and chatter right now means nothing because my job is determined by whether I do those two things. And I’m happy to do it and I’m around the country. You know, I’ve got this period — I wrote this book before I became chairman and as, because of the clock and the calender, I wind up doing it now. But when you read the book, it is a blueprint for how we move forward. I really believe that. It touches on those things that we lost track of. We can get them back. And we can go forward in a principled way and stand on those conservative principles and win again. We saw that in New Jersey and Virginia.
Steele’s claim that he wrote the book before he was elected to head the RNC on Jan. 30, 2009 is a bit odd considering that it contains many references to events that have happened after his election. For instance, Steele’s book talks about the NY-23 special election, an Obama administration cost estimate that was made public in September 2009 and Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) April 2009 party switch.
Steele’s publicist tells Reid Wilson that he has been “working on parts of the book before he was chairman. He’s made some updates recently.” Wilson also notes that Steele’s book “mentions at least 5 people, 1 piece of legislation and 1 term that did not become evident until well after he was elected to head the RNC.”
,TPM’s Eric Kleefeld notes that in his book, “Steele refers to himself on pages 14, 28, and 73, as being the chairman of the Republican National Committee.”