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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The RNC Chair Race

At Politico, Alexander Burns has a good basic rundown of the contest for Republican National Committee chairmanship, which will culminate next month.
Current RNC Chairman Mike Duncan is considered the front-runner, partly because of his fundraising ability, and partly because none of the other five candidates has a whole lot of momentum. Burns rates Michigan GOP chief Saul Anuzis, who’s sort of the symbol of blue-state Republicans, and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, as running neck-and-neck in second place. But he agrees with Ed Kilgore’s recent assessment that the entry into the campaign of former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has destabilized the contest–particularly now that Blackwell has formed a “ticket” with another hero of the Cultural Right, national co-chairwoman aspirant Tina Benkiser of Texas.
Ideology isn’t much of a factor in this competition, beyond the suggestions of Steele’s rivals that his (largely repudiated) relationship with the puny but totemic Republican Leadership Council makes him suspect. All the candidates are running as hard-core pro-life conservatives.
As Burns’ account suggests, inside-baseball factors like the relationship of candidates to actual RNC members will likely determine the outcome. Democrats should probably welcome a win by Duncan, which would nicely symbolize the conservative conviction that nothing’s really wrong with the GOP, or by Blackwell, who was famously described by George W. Bush as “a nut.”

One comment on “The RNC Chair Race

  1. ducdebrabant on

    Blackwell belongs behind bars, and may get there yet. If that happens while he’s RNC chairman, I’ll be pleased as punch. I hope they take him away in handcuffs and alert the media first.


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