RNC Fires Michael Steele, Elects New Chairman Reince Priebus

January 14, 2011 5:21 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Michael Steele

One year ago, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele had a blunt message for his critics: "If you don't want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up." Today, members of the RNC did just that, despite the party's success in November, voting to replace the gaffe-prone Steele with Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus. 

In electing Priebus, the Republican power brokers defied House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who endorsed and campaigned for pharmaceutical industry lobbyist Maria Cino. Coming less than two weeks after Boehner took the gavel, the snub suggests relations between the party establishment and the House GOP may not be any better in the new majority than they were during Steele's rocky tenure. 

UPDATE: Read more about Reince Priebus HERE