Should Reince Priebus Keep His Job

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has not been on a roll since he took over.  In 2012, his party failed to oust Obama, saw the Democrats majority in the Senate grow, and had Democratic House candidates get a million more votes than their GOP counterparts.  This past week he saw the Virginia lose the Governor and Lt. Governor’s races (with the Attorney General contest heading for a recount).

In addition, his autopsy report on the 2012 elections and its recommendations have all but been ignored by the party.

Based on these results should he keep his job?  Remember his number one priority is to win elections.  You can’t really say he’s doing that.



Reince In the Garden State


See ya’ in New Jersey.

I guess Reince Priebus can feel which way the wind blows.  Rather take the metro over the Potomac to Virginia, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is going up I-95 to spend some the day in New Jersey.

Gee, way to send a subtle message about where you think the good news is going to be on Tuesday night.  I am sure the Cuccinelli family appreciates the free knife you just put in their back.

You can’t really blame the guy. If I had a choice between a blow out victory party with all the Springsteen one can handle or a defeat that will turn into angry finger pointing before the night’s over, I would probably go to Jersey as well.

The reality is that a Virginia loss, especially if it’s a sweep, will outshine the GOP win in New Jersey.  Christie is a personality who has crafted his own appeal.  The Virginia ticket was exactly what the activist base wanted.  Their getting refuted by voters say a great deal more than a unique persona beating an underfunded opponent.  Hopefully, someone will call Priebus out on that point.



Wall Street Will Save US

At 9:00 am on Wednesday, if the stock market tanks on the threat of a U.S. debt default, you can bet John Boehner, Reince Priebus, and NRCC head Greg Walden will get some angry phone calls.  You know the kind of calls that start with, “You dumb son-of-a-bitch, get this sorted out, NOW!!!”

You see the big financiers of the GOP (and the Democrats too) don’t care about the tri-corner hat crowd when it comes to their investment portfolio.  If the U.S. government defaults on its debt obligations then their investments will suffer from the global economic panic that will ensue.  So you can bet by 9:05 am tomorrow Boehner, Priebus and Walden will all be getting an earful.

Will it have an impact?

Does money talk and bullshit walk?


Sunday Morning Show Line Ups

Here’s the line up for Sunday’s news shows:

  • ABC’s “This Week” —Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.; Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
  • NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Kelly; Ben Jealous, NAACP President and CEO; Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md.
  • CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Reps. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.; Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; Bobby Scott, D-Va.; Kelly.
  • CNN’s “State of the Union” — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich.
  • “Fox News Sunday” — Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

Interesting to see the GOP fight over foreign policy the NSA on display on FOX and CNN.  Ray Kelly also stepping out to defend stop-and-frisk.  Wonder if Rand Paul or Justin Amash, who talk a great deal about civil liberties, will touch that issue.

Would have been funny if Priebus had gone on Meet the Press or State of the Union.

What If The RNC’s Bluff Is Called?

The Republican National Committee unanimously voted to kill their partnership with NBC and CNN for the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates unless they stop production of planned films on Hillary Clinton.

Why should either network care?

What if CNN or NBC offered candidates free national television time to debate?  Would candidates really say no?  Would anyone give up that kind of free exposure?  It’s not like the RNC can stop someone from being a candidate.  To add a twist, let’s say either network had a respected conservative to moderate or at least ask questions.

No reason either network should take this threat lying down.

Would be funny to see how Reince Priebus responded to that move.


What Does Priebus Really Want?

Recent threats by the Republican National Committee to boycott CNN and NBC sponsored primary debates if the networks go ahead with planned movies on Hillary Clinton is raising great deal of media interest.  Aside from making me suddenly interested in both programs what is the RNC really trying to do here?

First,  this is not about stopping the production of either NBC’s miniseries or CNN’s documentary about the former-First Lady/U.S. Senator/Secretary of State.  I would be stunned if either network capitulated to the GOP’s demands.  As I mentioned above the controversy only helps to draw ratings.

So what is really behind all of this?

To start off with it’s a great way to rally the base.  Conservative activists are convinced the media are all out to get them so pushing back against these outlets makes it look like the GOP is finally standing up to the media after taking years of abuse.  Guesting hosting for Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham said it was about time and Rush Limbaugh argued it didn’t go far enough:

Right now the RNC needs to do all the base rallying it can considering the internal divisions over immigration and defunding Obamacare.  Here’s a little example of what I mean:

Also, if this goes through and CNN or NBC don’t have GOP primary debates it gives Priebus an easy excuse for having fewer debates in 2016.  There are many in the GOP who blame the 20 debates held during the primary (especially the ten held between September 7 and December 15, 2011) for weakening the eventual nominee.   Priebus himself said 2012 had a ridiculous number of debates.

So if there are fewer outlets and sponsors there will be fewer debates and the RNC can blame the biased media for limiting the number of debates, not anything intentional on their parts.

Oklahoma v Kansas - Men's Big 12 Championship

Is the RNC reading Bob Knight’s playbook?

Maybe most importantly it is a way of working the refs.  Like a college basketball coach who bitches at the refs all game long and then gets a favorable call in the clutch, the RNC is trying to wear down resistance.

Why does this work in college basketball and other sports?  Well a referee gets complained at all game that their being biased against the team and either they just get tired of hearing it or the complaining starts to get in their head the worry that they actually are biased and need to make sure they are not acting that way.  So in reaction they start going a little easier on the complaining coaches team.

If you’re the RNC and you complain how liberal CNN and NBC are being then maybe the questions your candidates get asked aren’t as hard or the formats are more friendly.  Why?  Because NBC and CNN don’t want to be seen as biased so if they do end up hosting a debate you might see them overcompensate by being too easy on the GOP candidates (i.e. not asking follow up questions).

Of course the fact that conservatives will complain about my saying that shows how good they are at working the refs.

Either way it seems the RNC figures it can rally its base and scare the networks.   If that works it will be a big win for them.







Mustn’t See TV?

Reince Priebus

How is this man still employed?

In a sign that they really aren’t ready for prime-time the Republican National Committee told NBC and CNN they wouldn’t partner with them on future presidential debates unless both companies kill production of recently announced programs about Hillary Clinton.

Apparently, NBC is doing a miniseries on the former Secretary of State and CNN Films is making a documentary.

In retaliation for these sins, Supposedly RNC members will vote on a resolution to not partner with the networks on Republican primary debates if they do not cancel the programs.

I had to re-read this a few times to actually believe it was true.  If you’re party can’t handle dealing with a network doesn’t it raise questions if you can deal with Iran, the deficit, or global warming?  I mean we are talking about miniseries (kudos to NBC for trying to bring those puppies back) and movie no one would’ve watched – until now.


Do the opposite of what he did.

This isn’t the first time this has happened.  In 2008 the Democratic candidates said they might not go on FOX News for a debate.  Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and they went on the network.

Perhaps in a more accurate example, in the early 80’s, at the depths of electoral despair, the U.K. Labour Party boycotted all Rupert Murdoch owned media outlets.  This made their most militant supporters happy and was yet another thing that turned the general public off.  Remember, most normal people hear “we’re not going on CNN” and think “what’s wrong with you you?”

If the GOP were run by grownups, rather than complaining they should just go on NBC, CNN, or any other network, and use it as a chance to take their message to as broad an audience as possible.