The RNC is meeting to choose their new chairman for the 2011-2012 cycle. They’re through four ballots so far. After nearly tying the front runner, Wisconsin GOP chair Reince Priebus, on the first ballot, incumbent chairman and human Kick-Me sign Michael Steele dropped support in each of the three subsequent ballots. In a rare moment of clarity, he dropped out of the race.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele dropped his reelection bid on Friday after he found himself struggling to secure support from members of the Republican National Committee to retain his post for another term.

Steele, who shocked many fellow Republicans by deciding to seek a second term, registered some level of public support as the RNC’s winter meeting convened this week. But many committee members were keeping their intentions private and several rounds of votes are expected, making it difficult to predict whether Steele could emerge with enough votes to win reelection.

Dave Weigel is on site, and he wrote up Steele’s closing remarks. My favorite part:

“And now, said Steele, I exit stage right.”

He exited stage left. (That’s where his supporters where.)

Steele endorsed Congressional staffer Maria Cino, who ended up with the 2nd-most votes on the fourth ballot. Cino, Priebus, Saul Anuzis and Ann Wagner remain in the race. Cino has the support of House Speaker John Boehner and could be a dark-horse in the race.

On the fifth ballot, Priebus picked up a little of Steele’s support, however: Priebus 67, Cino 40, Anuzis 32, Wagner 28. Priebus still has the inside track.

And let’s have a moment of silence for not having Michael Steele in the national spotlight to make us all feel a little bit better about ourselves every day.

UPDATE: Reince Priebus has been elected RNC Chair.