In it, but not of it. TPM DC
And then came this exchange, when he insisted that his public face-off with Rush Limbaugh was all part of his plan -- to scope out the state of the Republican field, and see who was with him or against him:
Steele: I am very introspective about things. I don't do -- I am a cause and effect kind of guy. So if I do something, there's a reason for it. Even, it may look like a mistake, a gaffe. There is a rationale, there's a logic behind it.
Lemon: Even with the current events in news--
Lemon: There's a rationale behind Rush, all that stuff?
Steele: Yup. Yup.
Lemon: You want to share it with us?
Steele: Sure, I want to see what the landscape looks like. I want to see who yells the loudest, I wanted to know who says they're with me but really isn't.
Lemon: How does that help you?
Steele: It helps me understand my position on the chess board. It helps me understand, you know, where the enemy camp is and where those who are inside the tent are.
Lemon: It's all strategic?
Steele: It's all strategic.
Let's take him at his word for a second. You might recall that the Limbaugh flap ended in Steele making a quick apology and praising Limbaugh's leadership. So if the point of Steele's exercise really was to determine his own place on the chess board -- well, Bobby Fischer he isn't.