Yet in late-February meetings with tech industry gurus on the West Coast, the Republican National Committee chairman still appeared genuinely torn, sources present told POLITICO. Priebus, they said, complained about not knowing whom to trust amid a barrage of conflicting advice about how to fix one of the party’s most vexing deficiencies.
And those issues are likely to trouble the GOP for some time, if the forthcoming plan of action in an RNC preview distributed Tuesday is any indication. The outline looks to some like a version of similar vague rhetoric that several GOP strategists — all of whom were involved in high-profile 2012 campaigns — told POLITICO they’ve heard before.
The most specific promise, for instance, is to hire a digital director — dubbed a “chief technology officer” — who will be well-funded and empowered to be bold and innovative. That is regarded by many with cautious optimism, a hope that the party really means it this time, tempered by a sense of déjà vu. The RNC is regarding such a hire as an important new idea, but Republican strategists have been clamoring for it since Election Day and believe someone should already be in place…
The sentiment was echoed by another prominent Republican digital expert, who asked not to be named because of working ties to the RNC. “Meet the old boss, same as the new boss,” the strategist said. “Every two years they have this new great person who’s going to change it. I’ll believe it when I see it.”