One of the lesser-discussed issues in this election cycle is the fact that Reince Priebus will be replaced after November’s election. Priebus’s tenure as the head of the Republican National Committee has been one of trying to maintain the status quo… at least until this election, where he fully committed himself to the idea of Donald Trump early and often. That makes this election doubly-important for anti-Trump Republicans who seek to steer the party back on the Right path.
You see, if Donald Trump wins the presidency (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha) then he has a pretty big say in who the next RNC chairman will be. Of the two names getting tossed around right now, one has appeared at Trump rallies to speak on his behalf while the other seems to have been mostly silent on the matter of Trump.
The first candidate seeking to replace Reince is Robert Graham, head of the Arizona GOP and self-proclaimed “ethusiastic” Trump supporter. While he hasn’t formally declared, he has been making the rounds according to POLITICO.
According to numerous RNC officials, Graham has already begun the process of introducing himself to the 168 RNC members who will select the party’s chair after the November election. The event in Cleveland, several people familiar with its planning said, is designed to generate exposure for Graham as he maneuvers for the job.
The second candidate who appears to be a likely contender is the RNC’s national state director, Matt Pinnell. He hasn’t said much that’s searchable on Trump, but given his job, the fact that he hasn’t said anything either way bodes well for the anti-Trump crowd. Pinnell is a young guy, having taken over the Oklahoma GOP in 2010 when he was just 30 years old.
Priebus himself doesn’t appear likely to try to run again, and there’s currently no real chatter on anyone else seeking the spot. And, it’s high time Priebus stepped down. He has become the iconic modern Republican – maintain the status quo, make sure party comes first, etc. – which, granted, was his job, but the party has been at war with itself since long before he came on board, and he did nothing noticeable in an effort to seek out peace between the two sides.
I don’t pretend that the RNC or any other body is anything more than a machine whose sole purpose is to raise money, but when you are the titular head of an entire political party, you may want to be seen as someone actively fighting for it, not just raising money for it. Maybe the next guy can do a bit better.