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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Priebus wins RNC chairmanship in seventh round

By Jennifer Rubin

On the seventh round of voting, the Republican National Committee (RNC) selected Reince Priebus as its next chairman. Michael Steele dropped out after the fourth ballot, endorsing Maria Cino. Ann Wagner withdrew after the sixth round. The final count was 97 for Priebus, 43 for Saul Anuzis and 28 for Cino, whose endorsements by Speaker John Boehner and Steele in the end were insufficient to lift her to victory.

What happened and why? Essentially the "anybody but Steele and Priebus" candidates failed to sort out among themselves a single standard-bearer. Accordingly, Priebus built momentum as Steele dropped out (gaining 9 votes in the next round) and again after Wagner departed (gaining 17 to put him over the top), while the anit-Priebus votes splintered among three and then two contenders.

There are several takeaways. First, the RNC race is an insiders' game. Endorsements and debates count for relatively little. Second, Priebus, like any of the other candidates, will be a vast improvement over Steele. He seems to genuinely grasp that his job is not to go on every cable TV show, but to fund raise and get the RNC's fiscal house in order. He is unlikely to repeat the pattern of repeated gaffes that helped sink Steele.

And, finally, we should keep this in perspective. The party functions once exclusive held by the RNC have, out of necessity, been farmed out. Third-party groups now raise huge amounts of cash. The Republican Governers' Association raises cash, devises ad campaigns and, with a new policy post, will help in that arena as well. The Republican Senate and House campaign committees have polished their recruiting skills. The RNC shouldn't be dysfunctional and shouldn't shed money, but it no longer is the only game in town. Steele saw to that.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  RNC  
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Comments

It was a bold experiment of the GOP electing Michael Steele for political considerations as chairman of the RNC couple of years ago principally as a counterweight to Obama's election victory and appeal. Reading between the lines however, I believe the major consideration this time was for financial reasons and not for political ones in which the RNC members believe that Priebus is more skilled at fund raising than Steele or any of the other contenders seeking to replace him. Afterall, it's reported that President Obama alone will be spending over $1 billion for his 2012 re-election bid for the presidency. Obama spent $780 million in 2008 so this new figure is by no means considered a stretch. That alone would seem to be the RNC's foremost concern from yesterday's vote rather than any other reason about Steele or rejecting Boehner's input and apparently they believe Priebus is the man who can raise these massive funds for the GOP come next election.


Posted by: draw984 | January 15, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

LOL, I suspect they picked Rience Priebus just to make Barney Frank say his name on TV.

Posted by: TominColorado | January 15, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Funny name.

Betcha' this guy wasn't born in America. Betcha' he was born in Kenya or some place like that. And even if you show me a birth certificate, you're a liar and I wouldn't believe it anyway.

He's an illegal alien, and that's a fact. Kick his sorry butt outta' here.

Or, he's an anchor baby. Just revoke his citizenship, and kick his sorry butt outta' here. And his illegal alien parents with him. They're just a bunch of law breakers, looking for a free ride from the American taxpayers.

Kick their sorry butts outta' here.

Posted by: seattle_wa | January 15, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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