Is Ronna McDaniel on the way out at the RNC? The man who chose her for the job is dissatisfied with her performance.
Ronna McDaniel has been chair of the RNC since 2017. She is the 65th chairman. The main job of the RNC is to assist the Republican Party. It promotes the Republican political platform. The RNC fundraises and works on election infrastructure. It does not run elections. Fundraising is important to help promising campaigns.
Unfortunately, the RNC has not had a lot of success lately. McDaniel is at the top of the organization so she is held accountable. Republicans have lost winnable elections since 2016. That is not the fault of the RNC, it is the fault of bad candidates. You can argue that the RNC should have stepped up and provided financial support for this race or that one but in the end, it’s the candidates who win or lose. Weak candidates have won primary elections with Trump endorsements. Now it looks like he is throwing her under the bus.
Ronna McDaniel’s fundraising success, or lack thereof, was on Trump’s mind during an interview with Fox Business Channel’s Maria Bartiromo. He told Maria that changes would be made.
“You have to understand, I have nothing to do with the RNC, I’m separate,” Trump told host Maria Bartiromo.
“I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me, I think she did OK initially in the RNC. I would say right now there will probably be some changes made,” Trump said when asked about McDaniel.
When Trump chose McDaniel, she was the chair of the Michigan GOP. She is credited for working to deliver Michigan for Trump. It was the first win for a Republican presidential candidate in almost 30 years.
We are nine months out from the general election in November and the RNC coffers are at an alarming low. Last week, the RNC reported it had $8M in the bank at the end of December. That was the lowest total since 2014 when the total amount of cash on hand was $5M. The RNC is $1M in debt. The DNC has been much stronger with fundraising. It raised $40M, compared to the RNC’s $20M during the fourth quarter of 2023. The DNC reported about $21M in the bank.
McDaniel has been loyal to Trump since she first began the job. She is serving her fourth consecutive term. Trump’s loyalty is less consistent. He did not back a candidate during the race last year. He wanted McDaniel and Harmeet Dhillon to “fight it out.”
The RNC held its winter meeting over the weekend. Republicans are criticizing McDaniel for the party’s underperformance in the 2022 midterm elections and on some high-profile ballot questions in 2023. There is a push to unify the party and move into general election mode.
The consensus at the 2024 Republican National Committee winter meeting in Las Vegas this week was clear among the pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions alike: Donald Trump will be the party’s presidential nominee this year.
“Let’s be honest about it. Trump is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party unless something drastic happens over the next few months,” said Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl. “And so with that in mind, yes, obviously the Democrats are already looking toward the general election. They’ve already started campaigning against Donald Trump. Republicans are ready to get there as well.”
Most of the RNC members said they were Trump supporters. Others pledged to support him in the general election. Few if any support Nikki Haley. That’s not a surprise. The RNC’s support of Trump has not waivered since he was elected in the 2016 general election.
McDaniel used a quote from Reagan to make a pitch for unity among the RNC.
“We Republicans will stick together, as united as the union our party long ago fought to preserve,” McDaniel said, quoting Ronald Reagan, according to people who were in the room and disclosed her remarks on condition of anonymity to discuss a private gathering.
While Trump and the RNC worked hand-in-hand on his losing 2020 bid, they have disagreed on several issues this time around. Trump refused to sign the party’s loyalty pledge, skipped all of its sanctioned primary debates, and has continued to cast suspicion on early and mail-in voting, even as the RNC pursues a “Bank Your Vote” initiative aimed at encouraging both.
I’m ready for a change. I haven’t been particularly impressed with Ronna’s performance. When I listen to her during television interviews, it always sounds like she is saying the same talking points over and over. She always sounds the same.
We’ll see how long Ronna lasts. It seems to me that this close to a presidential election is not the time to oust the chairwoman of the party. Republicans need less distractions, not more in order to focus on kicking Joe Biden and his merry band of minions to the curb in November.