Michael Steele is joining MSNBC as a political analyst and will make regular appearances across the cable network's lineup. Being a talking head is a natural fit for Steele, whose stint as head of the Republican National Committee was marked by controversy over his sometimes funny, sometimes weird soundbites. It appears Steele himself was aware of his on-air talents, as he was in talks to join Fox News or CNN in January.
In a statement, Steele said, "It's an honor to contribute and engage in the dialogue on MSNBC. I look forward to engaging a diverse audience to share insights and analysis about the people, issues, and events shaping America's future. I'm sure our discussions will be both informative and a bit spirited!"
Time's James Poniewozik says it makes sense for the Republican to join the liberal MSNBC instead of Fox, as Steele was not the most popular guy among conservatives, Fox's core audience. Poniewozik writes that "it will be interesting to see if Steele presents himself as a GOP analyst/loyalist, a la Fox's Karl Rove, or moves from his partisan past a la the TV version of [Joe] Scarborough," a former GOP congressman who regularly criticizes Republicans on his MSNBC show, Morning Joe.