The Republican National Committee released its long-awaited “autopsy” of the 2012 election, which is supposed to help the GOP determine a way forward in future elections. Let’s just say that the report is disappointing if you view the grassroots as an important part of the process:
The GOP’s prescription to cure the ills that helped bring on yet another disastrous presidential cycle would revamp its presidential nominating rules in ways to benefit well-funded candidates and hamper insurgents - a move that quickly heated up the already smoldering feud between the Republican establishment and the tea party-inspired base.
Tucked in near the end of the 97-page report, formally known as The Growth and Opportunity Project, are less than four pages that amount to a political bombshell: the five-member panel urges halving the number of presidential primary debates in 2016 from 2012, creating a regional primary cluster after the traditional early states and holding primaries rather than caucuses or conventions.
The recommendations are also a nod to the party’s donor class. Several donors bluntly told RNC Chair Reince Priebus at meetings right after the election that they wanted Iowa, with its more conservative base, to have less of a role in the process.
During last year’s Republican National Convention, the establishment powers that be successfully pushed a series of rule changes that discouraged grassroots conservatives and Ron Paul supporters.
But after an unsuccessful election cycle, there are some signs Republicans are beginning to see that they need stop alienating the freedom movement. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explained in a recent interview that the GOP needs to reach out to libertarian-leaning voters:
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is courting the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party, saying, “We would be fools not to welcome in the liberty movement in this party.”
In a video posted by the pro-Paul ConstitutionalWar.org on Sunday, Priebus was asked by an interviewer what his message is to Ron Paul supporters. The video appears to have been filmed during the committee’s winter meeting in Charlotte N.C. last week, when Priebus was re-elected Friday to another term as chairman.
“I want to reach out,” Priebus responded. “The fact of the matter is we’re not going to grow our party by closing doors.”
This news was music to the ears of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is arguably the most libertarian member of Congress. In a statement, Sen. Paul expressed approval of the Priebus’ remarks.
In the opening sequence of the musical 1776, John Adams, played by William Daniel, laments the worthlessness of the Continential Congress. McNair, the custodian of the Congress, fetches Adams, telling him that his colleagues are about to decide an important issue — “whether or not the Rhode Island militia be required to wear matching uniforms.” Adams replies, “Oh, good God.”
Upset by the lack of a will to pass a declaration of independency from England, he walks into chambers at Independence Hall in Philiadelphia, saying, “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress!”
That’s pretty much how I feel about the Republican National Committee after reading this story from Politico about the RNC’s newly launched review committee, which is supposed to determine what exactly went wrong in 2012:
The Republican National Committee is rolling out a plan to review what worked and what didn’t for the party in the 2012 cycle, appointing five people at the top of a committee that will make recommendations on things like demographics, messaging and fundraising.
The Growth and Opportunity Project is going to be chaired by RNC committee member Henry Barbour, longtime Jeb Bush adviser and political operative Sally Bradshaw, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, Puerto Rico RNC committee member Zori Fonalledas, and South Carolina RNC member Glenn McCall. Priebus, who is running for a second term, is holding a call with committee members to roll out the plan this afternoon.
With the presidential election finally over and analysts still guessing what went wrong for Mitt Romney, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced on Friday that he will seek a second term in that post:
Mr. Priebus, who took over the RNC in 2011, announced his intentions in an email to party leaders, a majority of whom have already pledged to support the chairman, according to a letter first reported by Politico.
The Wisconsin Republican’s track record at the RNC is mixed. On the one hand, Mr. Priebus took over the RNC when it was some $22 million in debt with a nearly empty bank account. As of Oct. 17, the party carried $9.9 million in debt and had $67.6 million to spend. On the other, Mitt Romney lost the presidential race and several GOP Senate candidates lost their races, too.
Mr. Priebus is not expected to face any serious opposition and no one else has announced a campaign for the post.
While Priebus doesn’t have a challenger, his role in shutting down grassroots activists at the Republican National Convention hasn’t been forgotten. The rule changes pushed through by establishment Republicans were intended to disenfranchise. While scrolling Twitter, I caught this from Richard Viguerie, a still influential figure in the conservative movement:
Clint Eastwood’s speech last month at the Republican National Convention (RNC) caught many people by surprise. His ad-libbed “conversation” with an empty chair, which Eastwood said was President Barack Obama, managed to overshadow Mitt Romney on the night he accepted the GOP presidential nomination.
Eastwood visited with Ellen DeGeneres yesterday to discuss his new movie, but also some of the reaction to his speech at the RNC, libertarianism, and his view on gay marriage.
The relevant part is within the first three minutes of the video. It was great to hear the reaction from the audience after Eastwood described libertarianism, the political philosophy to which he subscribes:
With almost a week removed from the shenanigans at the Republican National Convention, many of Ron Paul’s supporters are still steaming. The frustration is two-fold. First, establishment Republicans managed to push through rules changes that effectively disenfranchise grassroots activists. Secondly, votes for Ron Paul were counted as “other” during the nomination process, despite nominating petitions from more than five states — more than the number required under the original rules to place a name into nomination.
Sure, Republicans did pay tribute to Paul on Tuesday evening by showing a touching video on his 22-year career and the respect he’s earned from many of his colleagues. However, the push back against Paul supporters may be something that comes back to haunt Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
There is now a lot of talk about Paul supporters bolting from the Republican Party over what happened at the convention. While they may be a small number, the Romney-Ryan ticket will need every vote possible to win come November. But in a new video, Julie Borowski passionately urges libertarians and Ron Paul supporters to stick around the GOP, despite the tactics used at the RNC:
With it being an election year, the noise from both the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden campaign has been hard for most voters to avoid. But with election day just 63 days away, more undecided voters are beginning to pay attention to what could be the most important election in a lifetime.
Team Romney is hoping that voters will ask themselves, thanks to gaffes from prominent Obama supporters, if they are better off than they were four years ago. But what they envision in their ticket coming off the Republican National Convention hasn’t been beared out in polls. Philp Klein notes that Gallup shows that there has been almost no boost for Republicans in the last week:
It’s still too early to say for sure whether the Republican National Convention rejuvenated Mitt Romney’s campaign, but at least according to Gallup numbers so far, it hasn’t moved the polls much.
Romney currently trails President Obama by an insignificant one-point margin, 47 percent to 46 percent. That’s a 7-day tracking poll running from last Monday through yesterday and therefore includes a full three days of polling after Romney’s Thursday night acceptance speech. If he were to have received a substantial bump, the tracking poll would have likely picked it up by now. In the last poll before the start of the RNC, running through last Monday, it was Romney who was edging out Obama by one point.
I just arrived at the RNC convention and noticed the protesting is quite scattered and not serious. According to a police officer I spoke to, there was only 1 convention-related arrest within the past 24 hours… which is pretty amazing considering that much of Tampa is under heavy surveillance.
Below is a great video of a furious protester who, while denouncing capitalism, projected a libertarian message which is common amoung protestors, but is never reported on- Because it doesn’t fit into a neat template set by the liberal media.
When asked what system should replace our current government, the masked protestor explains, “People should have the right to do what they please as long as it doesn’t… hurt anyone else.”
That, in one sentence, is what libertarianism is all about.
Someone should buy this guy a Henry Hazlitt book asap!
H/T: Revealing Politics
Just a few moments ago, I got a chance to chat with Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, about the Republican National Convention, efforts by pro-establishment GOPers to curtail grassroots activists, libertarian involvement in the Tea Party movement, and what to expect from a Romney-Ryan administration.
This weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus complained that the media is taking Mitt Romney’s “birther” joke far too seriously, saying, “Nobody seems to have a sense of humor anymore.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will speak tonight at the Republican National Covention, also says that the joke isn’t a big deal.
Romney himself has said that the joke wasn’t intended to be a shot at President Barack Obama, but the defense is falling on deaf ears. Romney and Republicans have essentially asked for criticism over the issue any by associating themselves with Donald Trump, the billion real estate mogul who has championed this absurd conspriacy theory.
During a press conference on Sunday, Trump, who backs Romney and was supposed to have a role at the RNC before Tropical Storm Isaac altered the schedule, again pushed the birther issue:
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Sarasota, Fla., Donald Trump said Mitt Romney’s birth certificate quip in Michigan last week may have been a lighthearted joke, but that the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate is far from settled.