We heard the first whispers of this more than a week ago, when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus indicated that he might not be opposed to serving another term. Allahpundit wrote about it at the time and to say that his level of enthusiasm for the idea was, er… lukewarm would be generous. But not everyone seems to share that opinion and things appear to be lining up for Priebus to not only take another run at it, but to win without much fuss or muss. (Politico)
Donald Trump is teetering on the brink of a historic defeat, but Republican National Committee officials are poised to reward the party’s chairman Reince Priebus with another term.
Priebus is soliciting support for January’s chairmanship election — leaving some insiders with the impression that he is preparing for a future with the party after a Trump loss.
And a POLITICO analysis suggests he could be a lock for reelection, regardless of what happens on Nov. 8.
If Politico’s digging is solid, Reince would seem to be a sure bet for another term. They spoke to dozens of the voting members of the RNC (nearly a third of them) and found a significant majority in favor of not changing horses at this point in the race. That shouldn’t be all that surprising if you consider what Priebus is actually responsible for, and some of the complaints being raised miss the mark in my opinion.
When Allahpundit referred to Reince as Trump’s “dutiful aide de camp” last week he encapsulated what’s been the falling down point of this argument all along. Reince Priebus not only didn’t create Trump or badger him into running, but he did nothing to encourage anyone else to vote for him until it became obvious that Trump was going to be the nominee. (Which, for the record, was after Cruz and Kasich dropped out.) There was plenty of kvetching from the #NeverTrump folks all through the primary, with many asking why Priebus didn’t disown the real estate tycoon or somehow work some Chairman magic to make him go away. But those issuing such demands lose sight of the fact that the chairman’s job isn’t to pick the nominee. It’s to keep the framework in place for the voters to decide. He has other duties as well, including making sure the fundraising goes well. (And he’s done that in spades compared to his predecessor.)
I can see the argument in favor of fresh blood after a bad beating at the ballot box, which AP alluded to also. But I’m not going to lose any sleep over whether or not it “sends a message” by not bringing in a new chairman at the RNC either. Reince’s job is one of infrastructure and support. Not only does he not pick the candidates, he doesn’t pull their strings like a puppet master, write their speeches or sell them to the public. He raises money, opens offices and puts boots on the ground. If the product doesn’t sell, it’s not because the store wasn’t open on time.
I would also point out in closing that this race isn’t over yet. Far from it in fact. Trump is losing in most of the polls, but he’s been closing the gap again lately, including in a couple of key swing states. Fighting to kick out the RNC Chairman before the battle has even ended is counterproductive and divides our forces. And even if Trump doesn’t win, there will be more important data to examine when determining how well Mr. Priebus has done his job.