It’s been a while since I bothered to care who became the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). In fact, the chairmen of the DNC come more easily to mind, as they tend to be the ones always on TV, passionately spreading their propaganda to a friendly press. The RNC guys seem mild-mannered and forgettable by comparison.
It would have been nice if Michael Steele had been forgettable during his reign as RNC chair. Unfortunately, he has stumbled and tripped his way through the past two years, making gaffe after gaffe, financial error after error. The media has definitely given him more attention than his recent predecessors, but for all the wrong reasons.
During the 2010 elections, the RNC itself did a lousy job. They attempted to protect the worst of the Republican field from defeat, simply because they were incumbents, part of the good ol’ boy network, or considered “moderate”—that is, “spineless” when the going gets tough. Even after Tea Party candidates beat the RNC favorites in the primaries, the RNC could barely stand to support the Republican candidate in those districts, withholding all but the most meager financial backing, candidate assistance or positive media statements.
Conservative Republican voters had to bypass the RNC to send money directly to good candidates that the RNC tried to thwart. It doesn’t seem like the RNC has learned its lesson either. The clueless Steele is running for reelection, along with a large number of people unheard of by me and everyone else who isn’t heavily involved in party politics (about 99.99% of the population)—until a debate televised on C-SPAN, that is, enlarging narrowing the public’s ignorance of the candidates awareness to 99.95% of the population.
On Anuzis’ Twitter profile, he declares himself to be a “Newt Fan.” It doesn’t seem like any RNC chairman candidate should be already supporting one of the potential GOP 2012 presidential candidates.
To give Anuzis the benefit of doubt, I tweeted him to ask whether the newt in “Newt Fan” was indeed Gingrich or some sports team I had never heard of. He never tweeted back.
The mystery is somewhat solved by his candidacy video, which features Gingrich prominently in it. As I am not a Newt fan, the fact that Anuzis is is enough to make me want to look elsewhere for a chairman.
Unfortunately, for me, Anuzis came across as the best candidate out of the lackluster group of chairman candidates. I have to admit that anyone that has even read Bastiat’s The Law gets my attention, but to name it as their favorite book is…wow. Then he followed that answer with another excellent selection, naming Ludwig Von Mises as a political hero.
But can that override holding up Newt “Sitting on a Bench With Nancy Pelosi in a Liberal Propaganda Commercial” Gingrich as a hero? It’s a close call, but fortunately another option became apparent in the debate: Ann Wagner.
Wagner was sharp and conservative in her performance—and even a bit funny.
Ann Wagner is a tough, no-nonsense conservative leader with the highest integrity, and has a long track record of raising money and winning elections. She’s also a terrific communicator who understands the role of chairman is to get the fundamentals right, but has the skills and gravitas to go head to head with Tim Kaine and the Democrats when needed.
Given Bolton’s solid conservative credentials, I respect his opinion. Combine that with what I myself have seen in Wagner and I’m throwing my support behind her.
As the RNC rules require that the chair and vice chair co-chair be of opposite sex, I support Anuzis for Vice Co-Chair. [See note below. Silly me. I misunderstood the election process for co-chair, and Anuzis was not an eligible candidate for that slot.]
Unfortunately, Ann Wagner was the second candidate to bow out of the race. She tossed her support to no one, disappointingly. (Michael Steele was the first to exit, endorsing the other RINO in the race, Maria Cino. Twitter was afire with the gossip that John Boehner had called Steele to ask for his support of Cino. While that’s not completely unlikely, seeing as how Boehner had just a couple days ago endorsed Cino, i did not find further substantiation that Boehner engaged in last minute meddling.)
By then, Reince Priebus had run far into the lead, and became unstoppable.
Also, please note the correction above, as indicated by stricken text. I was mistaken in thinking that the co-chair position (which I called vice chair in error) was elected by means of second place in the vote. Thanks to Ali A. Akbar on Twitter, I was corrected that it was a separate race and that it was likely too late for losing chairman candidates to properly file for it.
And now for something completely wonky: For historical record-keeping, here’s few other links I had collected along the way regarding this race.
Identity Politics Alive and Well in GOP
- Roll Call: Black RNC Members Not Backing Steele (12/26/10)
- Washington Post’s The Fix: One-Time Steele Ally Backs Challenger For RNC Chairman
- GOProud: GOProud Urges RNC Members to Reject a Second Term for Steele
- National Review’s The Corner: Hispanic GOPers Endorse Anuzis
Archives of Informative RNC 2011 Reporting
Here’s hoping Chairman Priebus finds a way to raise money and raise awareness of conservative principles.