Big Tent Ideas

MIKE MCKENNA: I’m Running To Disrupt The RNC’s Broken Status Quo And Fix What My Opponents Won’t

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Michael McKenna Contributor
Font Size:

For reasons that are not immediately apparent, there are no powerhouse lobbyists, no currently sitting office holders and no campaign operatives who seem to want the job of chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

At the same time, the RNC needs meaningful reform and purposeful redirection. Consequently, I have decided to run for chairman of the RNC. I intend to present the voters with a choice, rather than an echo. My platform is simple. (RELATED: TONI ANNE DASHIELL: Ronna McDaniel Is Essential To The GOP’s Future Success)

First, and most importantly, the party needs an actual platform or agenda. Some sense of direction is essential.

The RNC should fire all of the legacy consultants involved in the last three cycles. Then think about rebuilding on the cleared land. The RNC should routinely publish how much the consultants make and whether and how those businesses are connected to the committee or committee members.

The state parties need to resist the mailing out of ballots to the extent possible. At the same time, the party needs a plan with respect to mail-in ballots and early voting; we need to turn door knocking and other GOTV efforts into ballot harvesting operations where that would be legal.

The RNC should take the debate process away from the legacy networks in both the primary and general election process.

As chairman, I will refrain from becoming a puppet of any 2024 presidential candidate (including and perhaps especially the former president). If the national Republicans underperform in the next cycle, I’ll resign; there won’t be any need for an advisory council to tell me it is time to go. I will not a take a dime from the RNC. Neither will any business in which I have an interest.

The RNC, its members and employees will again exist to serve the elected officials, the volunteers and the donors of the party (and not the other way around).

That’s it; that’s the entire platform. It’s already more extensive and detailed than those of my competitors and because my primary concern in this instance is making the Republican Party better, I welcome and challenge the other candidates to make the same commitments.

That’s going to be tough for them, though. The current chair received more than $650,000 this year (so far) from RNC donors. Ms. Dhillon’s law firm made more than that; the Dhillon Law Group received more than $850,000. That kind of cash might make an ordinary person wonder whether the chairperson and Ms. Dhillon are running for the right reasons.

Beyond that, both are part of the problem. No matter how you look at it, the chairperson has been a disappointment. No matter how you look at it, Ms. Dhillon has minimal experience in basic competencies — candidate recruitment and development, fundraising, survey work, messaging, GOTV and other elements of the ground game — that are the core of the committee’s work.

Moreover, Ms. Dhillon has done some work for the American Civil Liberties Union and given money to Vice President Kamala Harris. In a normal party, that would be enough to disqualify her as a candidate for chairman.

In that same category, both the chairperson and Ms. Dhillon share one thing in common: they both preside over state parties that are disaster areas. Again, in a normal party, that alone would be grounds for disqualification from leadership roles.

Finally, this whole operation is so incestuous that as recently as three weeks ago the chairperson was confident enough in Ms. Dhillon’s sympathies — perhaps because the RNC had paid Ms. Dhillon’s law firm all that cash — that she named her to the advisory council examining the most recent electoral underperformance.

The only way this organization and its leaders can be viewed as serious in their efforts to improve and reform is if they pick someone from the outside, to audit or lead or both. As Einstein once noted: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Michael McKenna is the president of MWR Strategies. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact