The first oddity in the crowded field is how many former allies of the current RNC chairman are running or considering a bid. Saul Anuzis, the former Michigan GOP chair who assisted Steele on technology issues earlier in the cycle, has announced a bid. Gentry Collins, a veteran strategist who worked alongside Steele for two years — and who, when announcing his sudden resignation, expressed frustration with Steele — is reportedly considering his own bid for the chairmanship. So is Wisconsin party chairman Reince Priebus, who ran Steele’s 2009 bid for chairman.
“I don’t take lightly the fact that I am challenging a friend and colleague for the chairmanship,” Anuzis said in his announcement. “When Michael was elected chairman, I was the only candidate who stepped forward to attend the next morning’s RNC breakfast meeting, agreed to join the transition team, and later took on several roles as a team player on the RNC . . . and I have attended every meeting since. Given my involvement and efforts to help over the past two years, it was not an easy decision for me to seek the post. As someone who believes in loyalty, my natural instinct would be to sit this out. But the simple fact is that the overriding challenge we face is winning back the presidency in 2012, and we will not accomplish that objective unless there is dramatic change in the way the RNC does business.”
Now, Saul, let's not take this to the extreme. You have coveted this job since Steele got the votes. Let's not try to fool people here. But, there is alot to like about Saul:
Cesar Conda, a former assistant for domestic policy to Vice President Dick Cheney and a well-connected GOP strategist. “I’m a big supporter of Saul Anuzis for RNC chairman. Saul is clearly recognized as the most tech-savvy party leader on the GOP side. He understands the new media better than anyone and can make revolutionary changes in the RNC’s technology and communications efforts. Saul is a prodigious fundraiser, and there is no substitute for a personalized approach to high-dollar fundraising — especially when we don’t have the White House. Saul is willing to commit the energy to these programs that is required, given the failure of Steele to keep them on track.”
Conda adds that he likes the fact that Anuzis “is not politically ambitious. He has no plans to ever run for public office. He isn’t going to write a book. He is a pro who will make the trains run on time and stay out of the way of the candidates and elected GOP leaders when it comes to securing media and being the face of the party.”
It seems that one of the key complaints with Steele has to do with finances--fundraising and spending:
Ann Wagner, who was chair of the Missouri GOP from 1999 to 2005, has also announced a bid. She served as co-chair of the GOP from 2001 to 2005, and most recently chaired the winning Senate bid of Roy Blunt in her home state. In her announcement, she emphasized the financial operations of the organization: “The RNC needs to be funded to its maximum obligations. We must be efficient, relevant, professional and credible. We must start immediately to erase past debt and restore the confidence of our donor base. . . . Fundraising must come first. We also must have greater transparency and accountability when it comes to the RNC’s budget and expenditures. As a former co-chairman and member, I know how important it is for the RNC membership to be fully informed and engaged.”
No matter what, it seems like Mr. Steele is done....Hey, I have an idea...since the ORP and the RNC seem to have a history of promoting incompetents, I say Kevin DeWine for RNC chair!!!!!!
It looks like former VP Dick Cheney and several other former Bush Aides are backing Maria Cino in a run for the RNC Chair. From this is CNN:
The fundraiser will be held at the Virginia home of GOP strategist Mary Matalin and is hosted by several veterans of Bush-Cheney world, including former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, former New York Rep. Bill Paxon and former administration aides Melissa Bennett and Emily Lampkin.
The Buffalo native has yet to make her intentions official and will not be among the candidates participating in Wednesday’s RNC candidates forum organized by FreedomWorks and conservative members of the RNC.
But as the fundraiser makes clear, Cino is all but certain to jump in the race and could formally announce her bid at the end of next week. She is slated to participate in a closed-door interview session Thursday with the bloc of RNC conservatives.
The bold-faced names on the fundraising invite – particularly that of Gillespie, who is held in high regard among RNC insiders – could help burnish her reputation with committee members as she preps her bid.
I like Dick Cheney's insticts alot. However, why isn't she interested in meeting at these other forums? That raises a red flag for me. Saul, even though he is an arrogant one and from that state up north, is still my current frontrunner.