The latest hearsay circling the politico rumor mill is that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin could be the perfect fit as the next chairwoman of the Republican Party. She does have an ability to raise money, as well as sellout venues. Plus she is the author of a nationally known bestselling book and has an enormous loyal following, particularly among Tea Party faithful. However, are those kinds of credentials enough to qualify her to succeed Michael Steele?
Only time will tell. In the meantime, we know this:
The Republican National Committee is a completely different ballgame than what Palin is typically accustomed to. It is a business with a lot of fundamental planning, grassroots organizing and execution. Just take a look at the many gaffes by the current chairman and one will quickly learn that there is a lot more to the job than making stump speeches on behalf of candidates, appearing on Fox News, or writing books. Knowing strategy like the well-planned get-out-the-vote action during the 2004 election is an absolute must for any party to be successful. Of course, one could make the argument that Palin has had triumph as an executive presiding over the tough business of the state of Alaska, but is that the kind of party experience Republicans are looking for?
Remember, party operatives rely on the RNC as a mission control center, especially when conducting state-by-state operations.
One thing is for certain; whoever takes over as the next RNC chair will have to do a better job at raising money, bottom line. In the current political climate, where the GOP has been given an endless amount of ammunition from an increasingly unpopular White House, the money should be pouring in. Simply put, money equals advertising and politics is no different when it comes to marketing and brand labeling. Without it, Republicans can only hope to make modest gains.
Recently, Palin’s political action committee has come out of nowhere to become a major player in fundraising. Being able to secure large amounts of money for candidates could help her cause, should she choose to run for party chair.
And perhaps a larger and often overlooked Palin appeal is her current strategy aimed at pulling a major voting bloc away from the Democrats in this year’s crucial mid-term elections. Her target is women and if she were to get elected RNC chair in the near future, she would become only the second woman in GOP history to be put in charge of that party while bolstering her identity among all female voters.
After the smoke has cleared from this year’s election cycle, Palin will have plenty of time to evaluate her move. If her handpicked candidates are successful, coupled with a GOP takeover of the House, she could position herself in the driver’s seat for RNC chair. However, if the Republicans raise little money, Palin’s candidates do poorly and the Democrats crawl out of the mid-terms still in control, she will have to regroup on where to go from here.
Ashley Stinnett lives in West Virginia, where he serves as an adjunct college instructor, writer, media and public relations consultant, public speaker, volunteer for various conservative organizations, and a civilian recruiter for the NRA. He is registered with the Associated Press, and is a nationally syndicated columnist with The North Star National. He is the author of the new book, “Grasping Appalachian Conservatism: How Not To Be Mistaken For A Latte Liberal.”