OK folks, I’m technically clueless. I had no clue I could edit an old diary. Sooooooooo… the update is on top, in blue.
Today, Dec 20, Shawn Steel at Politico hits the nail on the head with his article about Duncan. Just for the record, I am a gnome typing from the 908 residence in Phoenix dressed provocatively in sweats because it’s winter and I’m too cheap to turn the heat on. Steel, on the other hand, is the Republican National Committeeman from California and a former chairman of the California Republican Party. In other words, I’m a guy who gets to bitch about stuff he doesn’t like and Steel is a guy who gets to vote for the next head of the RNC.
A friend of mine recently attended a “where do Republicans go from here?” session with a selected group of high-powered politicos — congressmen, legislators, donors, party leaders and activists — in the Republican citadel of Orange County, Calif. It was a group closely attuned to GOP politics.
As a test, one of the congressmen queried the group, “Who is the chairman of the Republican National Committee?” drawing blank expressions as attendees racked their brains. Only two could come up with the correct answer — Mike Duncan — and only because they had Googled it when the same question had crossed their minds earlier that day.
This “Mike Who?” incident isn’t unusual. Duncan has been the Invisible Chairman, installed in January 2007 by Karl Rove to be unobtrusive — a mission he has carried out brilliantly.
This, gentle reader, is the guy who wants to lead the charge to take back the Congress and the White House. Mr.Unobtrusive!™. Just what we need. Actually, you can read – or reread – my first diary on this subject for my opinion. It’s actually a whole lot stronger than just a concern about Duncan being unobtrusive. There’s a laundry list of very specific problems I have with Duncan, the most obvious being whether he’s grounded in the real world.
Anyway, Mr. Steel sums up Duncan and the RNC Chairman’s race very well…
The Republican Party needs a fresh start. We can find the qualities of a successful chairman in someone unconnected with either the Bush administration or the spendocracy formerly known as the Republican Congress. Reelecting Mike Duncan would signal we’ve learned nothing from the last few years and can expect more of the same, when what we need is something different — like appealing to voters on time-tested conservative principles.
[T]he RNC needs a chairman of national stature, someone who 1) has instant media credibility, 2) has organizational grit to change the RNC culture to winning election instead of playing defense, and 3) not only knows how to raise money from big donors, but by utilizing new technologies.
The Republican Party will come back. The question is whether the next election is a more like 1994 or 1934. Electing the right chairman is critically important: he or she will the face of the Republican Party as the public debates Obama administration policies. The Republican Party needs a chairman with the stature, innovation and deftness of mind to lead, not someone who blends into the tapestry.
Well said Mr. Steel.
And while we’re at it, I want to throw out a big pat on the back to Erick and the Redstate Directors for working to get the RNC Chair candidates to post their vision of the future of the Republican Party and the role of the RNC Chair here at Redstate. Saul Anuzis is the first to respond. Thank you Saul and I’m looking forward to seeing responses from the other candidates, including Mike Duncan.
Mike Duncan is the RNC Chairman. He has a letter up on Politico talking about the GOP’s “comeback plan”. It reads a whole lot like the GM bailout proposal.
The impetus for the letter is Saxby Chambliss’ victory in Georgia. Check out this statement from our Chairman, but put your beverages down first and please swallow before reading )highlight is mine):
In the first contest since the presidential election and what many believe is the first race of the 2010 cycle, Republicans won because we coupled a strong, conservative candidate in Saxby Chambliss with a solid ground game that reached out to millions of Georgians and turned out the vote. Chambliss’ reelection sends a message to all those who believe the Republican Party and its core principles are anything less than strong and competitive.
Now if I didn’t know Erick and if I hadn’t read several diaries and a whole bunch of comments on the election, and if I didn’t know who Saxby Chambliss is, I’d think maybe things are really good. After all, Christmas is just around the corner. Or is that Winter Solstice?
Anyway, and please correct me if I’ve misunderstood something, but here’s what I understand to be the real world.
- Saxby Chambliss hasn’t been acting like a “conservative” for quite some time. The democratic cover proposal on drilling being the latest effort at bipartisanship.
- That solid ground game thingy that Mr. Duncan refers to. I’m sure I read something at Redstate yesterday to the effect that his “ground game” was pretty much zippo and in fact his campaign representatives had pretty much pissed off every group they talked to. I haven’t figured out how to navigate RS4.0 yet so I don’t have a link. I’ll add one (or apologize and correct this if I’m wrong) when I figure it out.
- The turned out the vote part? How do you spell Sarah Palin in Georgia? Even Chambliss admitted it was Gov Palin who got the folks fired up. Come on Mike.
- And finally, there’s those pesky core principles thingys. Just what would those be Mike? I’d really like to know just what the head of the RNC (who’s rumored to be running for a repeat performance) thinks those pesky principles are. Might bipartisanship be one of them?????
Mr. Duncan goes on with a great KoolAid™ ad you’ll just have to follow the link to enjoy for yourself. I’ll just suffice it to say that were I face to face with Mr. Duncan, I would drag him, kicking and screaming, to the nearest 12 Step meeting.
He stumbles on for several more paragraphs and ends with this classic…
At the RNC, we have spent the past two years investing in programs, technology, and training staff and volunteers on the basic fundamentals of winning elections. Chambliss’ victory yesterday demonstrates the value of those investments and proves that Republicans still know to win elections.
As Republicans, we must continue to take stock of the 2008 elections — first and foremost, strengthening ourselves by listening to the American people. But that also means learning from our mistakes and acknowledging our successes. Our success in Georgia is a strong sign that reports of the GOP’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, and I look forward to future Republican successes in 2009 and 2010.
Folks, this pinhead wants another shot at being the head of the RNC.