“I respect the desire to have someone in charge of the RNC who understands the wishes of the conservative grassroots and understands that power resides with the people and not the vested interests in D.C.,” Palin said in a statement provided to CNN. “However, the primary role of the RNC chair seems be that of fundraiser-in-chief, and there are others who would probably be much more comfortable asking people for money than I would be, and they would definitely enjoy it more.”…
Despite sporadic online chatter about drafting her for the job, the prospect of Palin serving as RNC chairman – with its day-to-day rigors of managing the committee’s 168 members – was never a workable one.
Though Palin has raised millions for her political action committee, most of it has come in through small donations via the internet. The job of the RNC’s next chairman, meanwhile, will be to spend countless hours on the phone raising money from the kind of high-dollar donors who stopped giving to the committee under the leadership of Michael Steele.
ABC has a copy of the letter to Palin from TPN leader Judson Phillips, whom you may remember as the guy who hired Palin to speak at the first tea party convention and/or the guy who recently praised the idea of voting being limited to property owners. Sample quote: “We need someone who will put conservatives in control of the party apparatus, not RINOs.” Granted, no one could get grassroots donors excited again about the RNC the way she could, and running a major party organization would polish her presidential credentials. But how exactly would she empower conservatives at the RNC? As the fundraiser-in-chief, she’d have to be extra cautious about alienating donors from either wing of the party; that means no jumping into races on the side of tea-party insurgent candidates, and it would oblige her to campaign on behalf of RINOs if/when they emerge as nominees. Beyond that, I’m not sure having Palin at the top would be a net gain for the RNC financially. She’d add a ton of small grassroots donors (as she’s been doing all year at SarahPAC), but the RNC’s wealthy contributors — or rather, the few wealthy contributors it has left — who don’t like her would bail out and donate instead to Rove’s group or to some other PAC. And of course she’d be blamed for that, even though having her as its spokesman would make the RNC instantly relevant again.
The other problem, needless to say, is that running for RNC chair now means not running for president in 2012. If she were inclined to wait until 2016, a few years at the RNC spent building bridges to candidates and state party leaders would make it easier to construct an organization for a presidential run later. (She’s been doing more of that at SarahPAC lately via donations.) But if she did a bang-up job at the RNC and helped elect a Republican president, she’d be locked out of running herself until 2020 at the earliest. And when she did eventually run, her “outsider” brand would be compromised by having led the most insider-y Republican organization in existence. Meanwhile, the RNC would be forced to defend every last Tweet and Facebook post, and after spinning for Steele over the past two years, I doubt they want to have to play defense for another chairman. Like I say, just doesn’t make sense for either side. What am I missing here?