June 16: Michael Steele and Bill Kristol
About This Event
Michael Stephen Steele is an American conservative political commentator, attorney, and former Republican Party politician. Steele served as chairperson of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from January 2009 until January 2011; he was the first African-American to serve in that capacity. Steele served as the seventh lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007; he was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland. As lieutenant governor, Steele chaired the Minority Business Enterprise task force, actively promoting an expansion of affirmative action in the corporate world.
In the 1990s, Steele worked as a partner at the international law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae and co-founded the Republican Leadership Council, a “fiscally conservative and socially inclusive” political action committee. Steele also made numerous appearances as a political pundit on Fox News and other media outlets prior to running for public office. He made an unsuccessful run in the 2006 U.S. Senate election in Maryland, losing to Democrat Ben Cardin. From 2007 to 2009, Steele was chairman of GOPAC, a 527 organization that trains and supports Republican candidates in state and local elections. After serving one term as RNC Chairperson from 2009 to 2011, he lost his bid for a second term and was succeeded by Reince Priebus. Since 2011, Steele has contributed as a regular columnist for online magazine The Root and as a political analyst for MSNBC. In 2018, he became a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.
In 2020, he formally endorsed Joe Biden for the presidency, after previously starring in an advertisement aired by The Lincoln Project.
William “Bill” Kristol is an American neoconservative political analyst. A frequent commentator on several networks, he was the founder and editor-at-large of the political magazine The Weekly Standard. Kristol is now editor-at-large of The Bulwark.
A founder and director of the advocacy organization Defending Democracy Together — responsible for such projects as Republican for the Rule of Law, Republican Voters Against Trump and Republicans Against Putin — he is also known for playing the leading role in the defeat of President Bill Clinton’s health care plan and advocating the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Kristol has since become a critic of President Donald Trump.
Kristol has been associated with a number of conservative think tanks. He was chairman of the New Citizenship Project from 1997 to 2005. In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan. He is a member of the board of trustees for the free-market Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. He is also one of the three board members of Keep America Safe, a national-security think tank co-founded by Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame, and serves on the boards of the Emergency Committee for Israel and of the Susan B. Anthony List (as of 2010). He has featured in a web program of the Foundation for Constitutional Government, Conversations with Bill Kristol, since 2014.