Role of RNC Chairman

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.  

5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Comments

Please put #2 in all CAPS.

 Please put #2 in all CAPS.  Nothing is more important.  We are in desperate need of a clear, concise, well delivered message.  It's has been years since we've had one.  We have the best message but we have failed to communicate it.

Good point about what is NOT in the job description

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.

The Republican party has many factions including socons, neocons, paleocons, fiscal cons, country clubers and even RINOs.  The Chairman has to be an honest broker who can work with all of these groups and get them to work with each other.  Almost by definition, the chairman is limited to endorsing only the lowest common denominator issue positions that unite all Republicans.  If the new chairman is percieved as being too closely aligned with a particular faction he alienates the others.

The new chairman can, and should, establish mecahnisms for the various factions to discuss and resolve their differences in order to clearly identify common ground and build a platform that is at least acceptable to all while providing the broadest appeal to the electorate.  But the new chairman can only preserve his role as an honest broker by avoiding any direct attempt to control the outcome of those discussions.  He should moderate but not participate.

 

A point well-made

...and I would like to add to this:

The Republican party has many factions including socons, neocons, paleocons, fiscal cons, country clubers and even RINOs. The Chairman has to be an honest broker who can work with all of these groups and get them to work with each other.

The chairman has to be rather facile in doing so, to avoid alienating the independents.  Really, taking their views into account isn't nearly so important as not alienating them. 

 

Here's how I see it:

Private fundraising, both directly from candidates and from third-party (not "Libertarian" third party, but "MoveOn" third-party) groups, should start to take precedence over centralized party funds for individual races.  If a critical race needs to be tipped one way or the other, the Right needs to have a separate infrastructure in place to get funds to that candidate.  The party should highlight these races, but not spend funds fighting fires close to election day.

The Republican Party, under the leadership of the chairman, should start to identify itself primarily as the facilitator of infrastructure, making sure that the Right has all the institutions it needs to:

  • build local membership,
  • recruit candidates as broadly as possible, so we can challenge the Dems everywhere,
  • pressure Democrats steadily on both policy and personnel,
  • identify winnable races,
  • pick up on new shifts in the political winds (memes that can catch on, new winning issues that can attract at least part-time allies into the coalition, and even demographic changes), and
  • develop new policy ideas (we already have formidable institutions in place for this).

The focus here should be on building from the bottom up, and can most efficiently be done by providing the tools rather than sending in late reinforcements for each campaign (money, manpower, etc.).

So in each and every locale, the local infrastructure's job during elections should be to:

  • alert non-local Republicans to unexpected vulnerabilities that can be exploited with wider attention and more resources,
  • score points against Democrat personnel whenever the opportunity arises (start building the rap sheets now in those blue states, because these victories are cumulative and mutually reinforcing),
  • win if possible, but
  • always be shifting the Overton window toward the Right's ideas and policies, staying somewhat to the Right of even the candidates themselves.  (Candidates, in turn, need to learn to tolerate this pressure, and take advantage of the blazed path when the opposition weakens on an issue.)

The top-down part of the chairman's job is secondary but necessary: rather than try to set a policy agenda himself, he should be trying to manage relationships, as you say, so that the factions can tolerate each other long enough for the movement's intellectuals to shape an agenda around the disparate parts of the coalition.  (It starts with unifying grievances, then familiarity develops between them, so that they know each others' tolerances, leading to stronger coordination.)  The party platform should reflect those developments rather than try to drive them.

Frank Meyer's fusionism gave a unifying rationale for a coalition that could last as long as the Cold War did, and created a framework that defined which internal conflicts could be avoided -- i.e., promoting policies that furthered the ends of all factions, and suppressing policy fights in the areas of disagreement.

This avoids the tendency for one dominant faction in the party to grab hold of its favorite value and push it to the detriment (and disgust) of the other factions in the party that it needs to win.

From there, the party/chairman can gently steer candidates who take a few too many liberties with the Republican platform (more liberties than they need to take to win) by alerting the existing infrastructure in those locales to tug harder back in the direction of the party's overarching agenda.

Any fundraising the chairman/party does, whether the party's in power or not, should be directed toward those ends (infrastructure for bottom-up, shaping the coalition from the top-down).  If candidates want an infusion of funds, they need to do something that excites the movement -- get within striking range, bring some fresh ideas to the table, etc.

Mindy, you missed one - Enforcement ...

...one of the major problems within the GOP right now is lack of enforcement.  The RNC needs to separate itself from any control by powerful office holders. To include the President. For the purpose of being able to enforce the various GOP planks/policies.  An RNC Chair should be able to openly and publicly chastise elected Republicans if they stray off too far from the accepted GOP positions. 

I'd like to understand more about how the RNC became a connected arm of the sitting President.  Totally answerable and beholden to him.  In the case of George W. Bush, when he turned on the Base, so did the RNC.  Hence the extreme lack of trust by the Base towards any form of GOP establishment.  And with the expected results: 11/7/06 and 11/4/08.  Darvin Dowdy

tiffany jewelry is the best

tiffany jewelry is the best website of Tiffany & Co Jewelry Stores.Every year,the sales volume of Tiffany Jewelry online surpasses 10000. Tiffany Bracelets for the best prices, guaranteed!

it is very nice

it is very nice

tiffany jewellery is the best

tiffany jewellery is the best online links of london charms stores where you can buy the cheapest tiffany jewelry and Links of London. Our huge selection of Tiffany Jewelry.