This past Monday American’s for Tax Reform hosted a debate held between the six candidates who want to head the RNC. Grover Norquist moderated the event, and he did an outstanding job. I had a trusted Krusty Korrespondent there who provided me with some insight.
The similarities between the debate going on here in Iowa for the RPI chair race, and the debate centering around the RNC race are very similar. In fact some of the questions at the RNC debate were how many “tweets” each has, and how many facebook friends they have. Again, just like here in Iowa, I don’t think these are the things that win elections, and this level of discourse sounds like something you might hear around the lunch table at your local high school. We need to be talking about mechanics not gadgets if you ask me.
Anyway here is my Krusty Korrespondent’s take on the candidates.
Mike Duncan – Current Chair seems to be the national version of Ray Hoffmann. Duncan is now pledging to be an agent of change which one would think is a tough sell for him to make. In his favor however is the fact that the 168 members of the RNC he is seen as one of them could be reelected.
Michael Steele – GoPAC Chairman and former Rudy supporter is hands down the most eloquent speaker of the bunch. However from an Iowa perspective he said some discouraging things about our state’s status during the 2008 campaign which should make us nervous.
Saul Anuzis – The Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party is always on the move and breaks the mold of what many consider to be your average Republican. People like his no-holds-barred attitude, but Michigan is a blue state and also broke the RNC rules which caused havoc in the 2008 nomination calendar. As chair of the RNC would he be enforce the rules against his own state if they attempted to move up again?
Ken Blackwell – Former Secretary of State in Ohio and gubernatorial candidate. Blackwell is also articulate and we all know how important Ohio is to the general election. While Blackwell has been supported by numerous conservative groups, he’s performance wasn’t that great on Monday.
Katon Dawson – Chair of the South Carolina GOP, has turned around his state in a short period of time. Dawson represents the southern conservative, and with South Carolina’s status of 1st in the South firmly in place he probably wouldn’t be hostile towards Iowa. Dawson wasn’t memorable on Monday.
Chip Saltsman – Former Chair of the Tenn GOP, Bill Frists main man, and Huckabee’s campaign manager. Anyone who stereotypes Chip by only looking at his work with Huckabee would be doing themselves a disservice. Chip is young, bright, and has some major accomplishments under his belt, like beating Al Gore in his own state in 2000. Chip did a great job on Monday, but it might not matter. It seems as if the RNC members are going to discount him as a candidate which is unfortunate.
So who will our Committeeman and Committeewoman support? All signs point to Dawson followed closely by Blackwell who is followed up by Saltsman. Both did attend the debate on Monday, which could explain why they were not at the RPI forum on Saturday. I’m glad they were there.
Who would I vote for? Blackwell. Those Ohio guys always seem to have our back and Blackwell is a conservative who shouldn’t bother the moderates in our party.
Vilsack to Commerce?
Seems like it’s an option being explored. We all know that Tom doesn’t have any farm experience, but did come from an Ag state so I was supportive of him in that position. I think Commerce is a real stretch for him.