Thursday, February 19, 2009

How Steele Won the GOP Chair

An interesting, but not entirely satisfactory, look at the ins and outs of the GOP chair election:
The core of Steele’s winning coalition were the RNC’s newer members—people like Preibus and mostly-unknown state party chairs like Jim Greer of Florida and Bob Tiernan of Oregon. Half of Steele’s 21-person “whip team” on the committee rose to their current Party leadership roles after the disastrous election of 2006. They’re the brave ones who swam toward the sinking ship.


Blaise Hazelwood, Steele’s campaign manager, put the 42,000 to work. Hazelwood first came to prominence as the driver behind the “72-Hour Task Force” in 2001—the party’s last meaningful revision to its tactical campaign playbook. This time, Hazelwood innovated again, asking those online supporters to email their national committee members. While urging a vote for Steele, the supporters pledged a specific donation of volunteer hours to their state parties. This caught the eye of hungry state chairmen like Preibus.

This was a fresh committee: 141 of the 168 who voted had never served through a contested chairman’s race. They were much more impressed by Steele’s actions than by the cajoling of the old bulls.

I'm still lost as to what Reince Priebus did for Steele, aside from being an early adopter. I guess I'll have to wait for another inside account.

[via Taegan Goddard]

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