Are we clear on the role of the RNC Chairman or does it need to be better defined?
As a co-founder of Rebuild the Party, I’m staying neutral in the RNC Chairman race (at least for now); yet, I’m heavily invested in the process and ensuring we elect the best man for the job.
I’m encouraged that the race for Chairman, hopefully in small part due to our efforts at Rebuild, has morphed into a more open process. For a job as important as RNC Chairman, candidates should endure at least as stringent a job interview process as candidates for office. In years when our Party holds the White House, we don’t have such a luxury. In years when we get crushed, like we have the last two cycles, we do have that luxury.
Our Party is in crisis. Let’s resort back to our Crisis Management 101 books. Crisis is defined as a “turning point” and “danger and opportunity.” At this turning point, we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our best talent to revive the Party.
RNC voting members have power, this time around, to choose who our fearless leader will be. We all have an opportunity to use our voices, and any communication tool at our disposal, to influence the choice of the voting members.
The process for picking an RNC Chairman is crucial. If we can agree that the RNC Chairman’s race is a job interview, then we should have a specific job description, at least as it fits each cycle, understanding that the job of Chairman with a Republican president differs from the job when there is not. From what I can see, the only official job description of the RNC Chairman is “CEO” of the Republican National Committee.
Similar to the Vice Presidency, the RNC Chairman’s role is amorphous, so I seek to define it for the upcoming term:
1. Director of Operations at the Republican National Committee, providing guidance and leadership on message, fundraising and political strategy for the Republican Party.
2. Chief messenger of the Party, communicating the Party’s positions, ideas and opinions on current events through all media.
3. Chief fundraiser of the Party, making themselves available to headline Republican events across the country to raise money for the RNC and local Party organizations.
4. Director of Party Relationships, building and maintaining strong relationships with State Party leaders, allied 3rd party groups, issue groups, demographic groups and niche “wing of the party” groups.
What is not included in the job description as Kathryn Jean Lopez touches on (and I’ve been musing about):
1. Chief Policy Advisor for the Republican Party
2. Chief Agenda Setter for the Republican Party
This is not to say that showing leadership on issues, and robust knowledge on tax, energy, health care, and [name that issue] policy, is not a plus. It is. But I think we need to take care to frame the RNC Chairman’s job for what it should be, unless I’m totally off base and we expect a Chairman to be what we want in a 2012 presidential candidate.
I’m interested in your thoughts.