The Republican National Committee (RNC) provides national leadership for the Republican Party. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. The RNC Chairman is tasked with enormous fundraising and managerial responsibilities, and can become an important carrier of the Republican message.
Later this month, the 168 RNC members will meet in Washington to elect their next chairman. When a party controls the White House, the president effectively decides his own party chairman, so this year’s RNC race the first open Republican race since the 1990s. Six candidates are currently vying for the position: Michael Steele, Saul Anuzis, Ken Blackwell, Chip Saltsman, Katon Dawson, and Mike Duncan.
If there's a common thread in the candidates' messages, it's this: "We need to get back to our conservative principles, we need a 50 state strategy, and we should probably try out that internet thingy. Hey, it worked for Howard Dean!"
The candidates are clearly interested in replicating the DNC Chairman's success, but they all lack the crazed zeal of Howard Dean. Not that we necessarily need a conservative wingnut equivalent of Howard Dean to rescue the Republican Party, but a little enthusiasm probably wouldn't hurt.
Here are some of the candidates'
The Republican Party must present a vision for the future of America that relies on our conservative values and core principles. It is wrong to believe the voters have suddenly become liberal. They have just lost any sense of confidence that the Republican Party holds the answers to their problems. We must face the fact that our party has failed in recent years to live up to our own principles — we have failed to be 'solutions oriented' in addressing the concerns of all Americans.
We must be the party that offers individuals the freedom to create, build and dream. Republican Governors are succeeding by doing just that, and I will work with them and follow their example, to help rebuild our national party. America’s return to our country’s traditional values, and the Republicans’ return to majority status, must have as one of its cornerstones the recognition that entrepreneurial opportunity must be promoted. This will make America stronger, more prosperous and more hopeful. And it will ensure our status as a world leader.
We will bring our party back by clearly articulating conservative principles, inspiring our base, decentralizing authority, and building technical and precinct–level organizational capacity to facilitate a conservative resurgence across the country for the GOP.
Republican resurgence must begin with a return to our longstanding ideals of principled conservatism and fiscal responsibility. In January, a Democratic President and the Democratic Congress will begin work on raising taxes, increasing spending, regulating industry and appointing activist judges. To meet these political and policy challenges, our party will need to act quickly. We will have to be better equipped and motivated to fight for our core values and to oppose the harmful policies of a virtually unchecked liberalism.
Despite the setbacks our Party suffered at the ballot box in November, it is an exciting time to be a Republican. Great political movements begin in times of great adversity. Over the next two to four years, our Party will redefine itself without abandoning our Republican principles. We will find new ways of applying those time-tested principles to modern challenges and opportunities. We will become the Party of hope that inspires Americans from all walks of life to do great things.
I am seeking re-election as Chairman to provide strong leadership for the Republican National Committee. That leadership will include more deeply involving RNC Members, from start to finish, in the direction and programs of the Committee. The election of Chairman is about which person can best provide the leadership necessary to assure we define the proper role for the RNC and to make certain that role is successfully accomplished.
There is no question that to win elections we must do things better and differently. Everyone agrees the time has come for real and significant change. That does not mean, however, that we abandon proven successes merely for the sake of change. We must seriously evaluate where we are, improve on what works, change what does not, and constantly look for even better ways. We win elections when we run on the power of ideas and have the financial resources to execute aggressive, technologically sophisticated nuts and bolts campaigns. I look forward to RNC Member participation that will transform our ideas and resources into many Republican victories.
If any of the candidates have a clear and compelling vision for the future of conservatism, they're working hard to keep it a secret.
Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), will deliver a prayer at the National Cathedral during the National Prayer Service on January 21st. The event is part of the festivities for the inauguration of Barack Obama, which occurs January 20. Ingrid says that "Right-wing Christians are very risky allies for American Jews because they are really anti-Semitic. They do not like Jews."
Military rates higher with Americans than Congress, Media.
Obama says he always thought Bush was a 'good guy' Oh, reeeeeally?
Obama to crowds: "I love you back."
Very interesting: Bush's Imminent Rehab
RNC Candidates' Websites: