Russert put real heat on Steele - the "Are you running as a proud Bush Republican?" question seemed just a smudge over the top; we don't recall any White Republican getting that kind of questioning ... so, we examine it with a bit of caution. But, then again, Steele dug that hole for himself by struggling to somehow balance his Republicanism with his candidacy in a heavily Democratic state. In addition, he's taking too much GOP money and has too many GOP operatives managing too many elements of his platform. Steele is obviously on the defensive. But, he seems cool and collected under the pressure.
Cardin is getting lucky according to the latest polls. Steele's cool pose and telegenic savvy isn't enough to distance the man from The Man. The Steele/Bush association is the only thing working in Cardin's favor. Other than that, Cardin can only expect the President's unpopularity to work in his ultimate favor since he's looking rather tired and grey in this Meet the Press special.