I don't pretend to know and understand the ins and outs of internal party races like the RNC chair race, but I do know this, it makes sense for former MIGOP chairman Saul Anuzis to become chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Saul has been the first to throw in for the race, and Steele is expected to announce his intentions this evening. Others who have formally announced according to Anuzis' blog are "former Bush Administration Official Maria Cino, RNC Legal Counsel & WI Chair Reince Priebus,"and," Ambassador Ann Wagner." Still, it is not clear if former Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins is in yet, Collins left the RNC in a huff decrying Steele's ineptness at fundraising and his mismanagement of funds, nor is it clear if former RNC chair Mike Duncan is in. Regardless, the field is crowded, and may get more so.
Putting aside all the politicking, my purpose for encouraging endorsements for Saul Anuzis is from a purely grassroots level.
I have never met Saul Anuzis, but I know him. I entered the Michigan Republican Party less than a week after Barack Obama was elected President. Anuzis was on his way out as Michigan Party chair, and I heard him speak at the February of 2009 convention in Lansing. Saul's outgoing message to the convention was one of conservatism, principled leadership, and republicanism. He reminded everyone that the Republican party was founded in Michigan, "Under the Oaks." It was not long after the convention that I realized what Anuzis was doing to help people like me become more involved in the Republican Party.
Through his facebook, blog and twitter account, Anuzis shares information and creates a notable relationship between himself and members of the Party. It is my view that he led the internet charge during this last election cycle here in Michigan, even though Ron Weiser was MIGOP chair. That ability to contact and connect people from all walks of life and plug them in to the conservative message of the GOP is as valuable as gold. Anuzis won over many conservatives who had never been involved in the Republican party before, to the cause of defeating the Obama agenda, and democrats in general. The grassroots turned Michigan red, and that relationship between the grassroots and the suits is what the RNC needs.
I cannot think of a better, more clear reason to vote for an RNC chair at a time when so many are so upset at the RNC. Too many times the RNC has gotten itself involved in primaries and tried to pick winners prior to the people casting their votes. It is unconscionable that the RNC acted as kingmakers and plenty of GOPers let it be known by refusing to give money to the RNC, instead electing to give money directly to the candidates of their choice. Anuzis has made it clear that raising money is important in being RNC chair, but now that the Republican Party has the potential of massive grassroots support via the tea party and conservative causes nationwide, there has to be someone at the helm who understands the problem. Saul does.
The Republican Party in Michigan has been on life support for years. It is my view that it has only recently come alive, not due to Ron Weiser's leadership, but Saul's grassroots outreach. Of course money is the mother's milk of politics, as Duncan has said, but so is what has driven our wins in this last most crucial election cycle, those people who have not money, but time and ability to influence. To be blind to the effectiveness of the internet in political campaigning is ridiculously naive and should count Ann Wagner out of this race. During the recent debate, she mused that the internet is used by women to watch what their children are doing online. She clearly has not been paying attention to how we won across the country. Anuzis was correct in his suggestion that, "The largest demographic that's now growing on Facebook are women between the ages of 45 and 55," he said. "These aren't just kids, guys. These are our viewers." (Although I don't completely fill that demographic, let's just say I'm before my time.)
Anuzis is clear, conservative and focused. I am in favor of Saul defeating Steele, and I don't look at people's skin color or gender to persuade me in filling jobs. The RNC needs grassroots driven people at it's head if it expects to keep grassroots working for them in 2012.