In a story which will surely have some readers even more convinced that the end days are upon us, The Hill is reporting that former RNC chair Michael Steele is in talks to take a gig with MSNBC.

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele is in negotiations with MSNBC to be a political analyst, according to sources.

Steele would be a prominent Republican voice on a network known for its liberal television hosts. If the deal goes through, he would join the cable network in time to offer commentary on the 2012 elections.

I know that a lot of the base had their issues with Steele during his tenure as RNC chair, but I’ll confess that I’ve always liked the guy. I didn’t particularly care for the way he wound up being the story while serving as chairman, a position I tend to think of as being better served by acting behind the scenes. But out of the office he’s a smart guy who remains active in political reform efforts. Plus, it certainly wouldn’t hurt MSNBC to get a bit more variety in their lineup, as Bryan Preston points out at PJM.

For all the knocks on his time at the RNC, Steele is very smart and is infinitely more talented and interesting than Ed Schultz or anyone else on MSNBC. He’s certainly less predictable. And he could add a little color to an otherwise blandly monochrome host line-up on that channel.

(Let’s all agree to just give Bryan a pass on the “add a little color” quip, shall we?)

The few times I’ve met Steele I found him to sharp and engaging with a good presence that carries over well on television. Further, he has that rare ability among politicos to not take himself too seriously. After Jon Stewart did a blistering series of bits toward the end of Steele’s term using a neo-hip hop puppet in his place for interviews, he went back on the show and sat down for a very polite, good natured interview.

Sadly, the article indicates that Steele would be an “analyst” for MSNBC if he signs on, similar to the role Pat Buchanan fills for them, meaning that he would show up at various times to comment rather than having his own show as a regular host. That’s a shame, since Joe Scarborough is currently the only watchable “opinion” show on the network, and they could really gain some credibility – at least with the center – by adding him as a regular in the schedule.