Over the weekend, Trump had hinted that there were going to be big changes made at the Republican National Committee (RNC), and then he privately met with RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel.
After that meeting, reports surfaced that McDaniel was going to resign after the South Carolina primary, but McDaniel is now pushing back on that story, saying that she is not going anywhere right now.
- Reports hit that McDaniel will step down
- McDaniel pushes back
This all got started after Trump appeared on “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News. Trump told Maria Bartiromo that some changes would be coming. He stated:
“I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me. I think she did okay initially at the RNC. I would say right now, there’ll probably be some changes made.”
Then the New York Times posted a report that McDaniel had planned on stepping down, with Trump reportedly backing Michael Whatley, who is the head of the North Carolina RNC, to take her place.
After the news cycle blew up that McDaniel was going to resign, her office immediately started to push back on the rumors, even though the membership was clearly excited about her being removed. A memo sent out by McDaniel was leaked to the media, which stated:
“With a news cycle full of palace intrigue and speculation surrounding all of us, I want to take the time to reassure all of you that I am still hard at work as RNC Chairwoman and building a machine that will elect Republicans up and down the ballot in November.
“Myself and my staff are refusing to be distracted by the outside noise and we remain committed to our mission – rumors to the contrary are simply not true. Nothing has changed and there will not be any changes decided on until after South Carolina, when we may have our eventual nominee.”
On top of that, the RNC Chief of Staff, Mike Reed, did step down. Politico released a report that Reed had informed McDaniel he would be leaving his post at the end of the month. According to that report, Reed claimed that he told her about a year ago that he would be leaving, but most people are not buying that, considering the timing of the departure.
As I have stated in previous reports, McDaniel’s time as the Chair has been disastrous for the Republican Party. We may never again see an opportunity like we had in 2022, and the GOP barely took the House and lost ground in the Senate when Republicans expected to take both chambers handily. And now there are reports of mismanagement of funds, only making the case stronger for her to be removed.
McDaniel is in that chair because of Trump, who originally endorsed her for the position and backed her again after she won the last election for the seat. To that point, he needs to pressure her to step down so new leadership can be put in place, although I would suspect that if Trump gives Whatley his blessing, that is who the caucus will vote for to replace her.
All that aside, the strategy the RNC has used since McDaniel took over in 2017 has not worked. Republicans lost the House in 2018 under McDaniel, then lost the Senate and White House in 2020. She has arguably been the least effective RNC Chair in decades. Trump likes her because she approved the RNC paying his Russian collusion legal fees, and she stacked the RNC with former Trump campaign staffers.
This position cannot only be about loyalty to Trump and bankrolling Trump’s campaign and legal bills. This position has to be about the party and the movement, developing strategies, vetting candidates, and developing winning advertising strategies to put solid conservatives in position around the country. McDaniel was never able to look past her perceived loyalties and duty to Trump to get that job done. If McDaniel remains in place and holds true to that memo, I don’t expect a very good 2024 for the GOP.
If we want to see success in the next election, she must be removed now.