On Friday, Republican Party leaders met at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, where they elected Reince Priebus to lead the Republican National Committee for the next two years. After seven rounds of convention voting, Priebus received 97 votes — more than the 85 required to win. Priebus beat out RNC Chair Michael Steele and three other candidates to become the new chairman. The new chairman tutored the press in the proper pronunciation of his name: Reince (rhymes with pints – like pints of a drink) Priebus (PREE-bus).
Priebus, 38, was the Republican Party chair in Wisconsin, a state which saw significant Republican gains in the November election. He also served as RNC general counsel under Steele. He wooed RNC committee members with promises of rejuvenating the Party’s credibility and regaining the trust of disillusioned donors in order to increase fund raising. He takes the helm of a party that is approximately $20 million in debt, so fund raising will be a major issue as we head into the 2012 elections where the GOP hopes to capture control of the Senate and the White House.
Priebus said, “We’re going to start by putting a solid business plan in place to operate effectively and efficiently to begin to restore the faith of our donors.”
He’s already making good on his promises. Priebus recently fired half a dozen staffers of the RNC 2012 National Convention Committee on Arrangements, including Michael Steele’s appointed “convention liaison,” who reportedly received a $25,000 dollar signing bonus and a $15,000 a month salary. Hopefully, Priebus will hold to the Republican precept of fiscal responsibility and run a tight financial ship.
During his victory speech, the new chairman told the 168 RNC members, “You all are the board of directors. And while I may be the CEO, we must all remember that each of us, every one of us, is still an employee to Republican voters.”