"It's an impediment. It's a hurdle I have to overcome," Steele, who is running in a Democratic-leaning state, said of his GOP label, according to Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post. "I've got an 'R' here, a scarlet letter."Now . . . as a Reep running in a Blue state, it might make some kind of sense to say these things openly -- maybe, possibly, sort of -- but what in the blue Hell makes a Reep candidate go anonymously bashing his own party to reporters? How does privately acknowledging what a f@cking disaster Gee-Dub is help your prospects of getting elected, especially when you're doing it at a restaurant near the Capitol with a gaggle of reporters -- and therefore can reasonably assume your identity is not going to stay secret for very long?
The Washington Post said nine reporters from newspapers, magazines and the networks attended the lunch at a Capitol Hill steakhouse and asked the campaign to allow them to use Steele's name. The newspaper said the campaign considered the request but ultimately refused.
The newspaper quoted the unnamed candidate as saying the Iraq war "didn't work" and "we didn't prepare for the peace," that the response to Hurricane Katrina was "a monumental failure of government," and that "there's a palpable frustration right now in the country."
Of Republicans who control Congress, the candidate said: "We've lost our way, we've gone to the well and we drank the water, and we shouldn't have."
"You don't go to Congress to become the party that you've been fighting for 40 years," he said, lamenting "the spending, the finger-pointing, not getting the bills passed" and counseled: "Just shut up and get something done."
Asked if he wanted Bush to campaign for him, the candidate initially said, "well, you know, I don't know" and then, noting the president's low popularity in his state, said: "To be honest with you, probably not."
What's the angle? If you're going to talk like this to reporters at all, why keep your identity secret?
Did Steele let his guard down? Did he think he was off the record? Was he drunk?