Conservative D.C. vets — the loyal conservative types who have worked hard for decades and who care more about the future of their country and principles than party politics — have been expressing exasperation (to me, anyway) for weeks about the race for Republican National Committee chairman.
“Don’t make it a celebrity contest” was an initial caution — an attempt to throw cold water on “Fred!” or “Sarah!” or other big names swooping in to save the day.
Then eyes started rolling as Chip Saltsman made news with his Christmas gift. The Shanklin CD is perfectly defensible, but the gift was guaranteed to distract. That Saltsman thought the stunt was a good idea is, therefore, a judgment issue, as Jim Geraghty has pointed out.
The whispering campaign (though I haven’t heard it as much lately as I did before Ken Blackwell got in the race) that Michael Steele isn’t pro-life — or pro-life enough — strikes me as silly. (I’ve been aware of Steele for years, but one of my most vivid images of him comes from a commercial his sister, a medical doctor with MS, did on stem cells during his losing campaign for the Senate.)
I don’t know who will win or who should win the RNC race. A leader with vision and executive skills – who knows something about organizing and winning — should probably be the chairman. (That person does not necessarily need to be “a name.” It might help if he’s not.) For GOP committeemen, the next few weeks should be about figuring out who that might be.
Jim Geraghty will be at the candidates’ forum in D.C. tonight; keep a lookout for the probably-soon-to-be-renamed (yes, again) Campaign Spot for the latest on the race.