On Wednesday morning, Steele was trying, oh so hard, not to sound as if he were gloating. “Oh, no, man, we’re not crowing, we’re just smiling,” he told Smith. But asking Steele not to crow is like telling a rooster to admire the sunrise in silence. Within moments of Steele stepping to the lectern for his post-election news conference at Republican headquarters, the crow was flying…

The chairman was giddy Wednesday morning as he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Assume the Heisman position!” he said when he was introduced, making the football trophy pose. He momentarily forgot the no-crow routine as he argued with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell about the loss in New York: “You’re not going to spoil my juice right now. You’re not going to take this high away from me, because it’s been hard work for this party to get back to the point where we can win.”

Steele still had his high, and his unspoiled juice, when he arrived for the news conference at GOP headquarters. In the room where he spoke were portraits of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and a smirking Dick Cheney. Immediately beneath and to the right of an image of a pensive Abraham Lincoln was a grinning Michael Steele.