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GOP's Michael Steele on recent controversies: 'a lesson well-learned'

April 10, 2010 |  4:37 pm

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele — who attracts controversy the way Bourbon Street attracts, um, a certain happy-go-lucky clientele — delivered a sort-of mea culpa Saturday at the big GOP confab in New Orleans.

Wrapping up the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, and speaking before a more than half-empty hotel ballroom, Steele did not mention the latest dust-up, involving the GOP footing the bill for a 'do at a bondage-themed nightclub in West Hollywood. He didn’t have to: The story has been pretty well covered by just about every media outlet on the planet.

Speaking of life’s lessons, Steele said he has realized “you can’t please everyone but you can certainly make them all mad at you at the same time.” He said the lesson was well-learned and also presented an opportunity.

“Folks have been mad at us in the past and we have learned from that past and we are ready to move onto a bright future, as leaders, as Republicans, as conservatives," Steele said.

Steele left the matter at that, swinging into a standard-issue speech condemning the Obama administration and promising a GOP takeover of Congress in November.

With that, the conference wrapped up, in plenty of time for delegates to go back to their hotel rooms for a good night’s rest and a snack of milk and cookies.

--Mark Z. Barabak