February 28, 2024

Why Ronna McDaniel had to go

I tried to get to this yesterday but I ended up going far deeper than I had planned.  Ronna McDaniel is out as RNC chair. Here's why:

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Compared to her predecessors Ronna was not very good. On her watch, she is 0 for 1 in presidential elections, 1/3 in senate elections with a net loss of three seats, 2 for 3 in congressional elections but with as combined net loss of 19 seats, and 0 for 2 in gubernatorial election cycles with a net loss of 7 governorships. Even former RNC chair (who now spends his time on MSNBC) did better. Granted Steele happened to be chair during a paradigm shift that he benefitted from straddling. He was in the Tea Party Obama-blowback window.

Of course not all of the failures and wins can be attributed to the individual RNC chairs. Mike Duncan for example, was RNC chair during the Obama wave of 2008-2009. During Ronna McDaniel's time as chair  there was a coordinated, heavy anti-Trump coalition of media, big tech and academia (among others) working against Trump. There was a veritable tide to push against.  But that was her job.

On every front (legal, messaging and fundraising to name a few), she did not do enough. Proving that it would have been better or worse with someone else is impossible. But there is ample evidence she did not perform well.  She never capitalized on Trump's win. It was a huge opportunity missed.

Additionally, she'd been in the role far longer than any of her relatively recent predecessors.  Reince Priebus lasted several years immediately before her but as time wore on, his effectiveness lagged from his early years.  Sometimes time just becomes the enemy. It leads to complacency and lack of new ideas. That I think was the case for McDaniel, and she didn't even start strong.

I have no animosity towards Ronna McDaniel, I just think she was the wrong person at the right time for the job. I hope her successor has a better time of it.

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