As we at the Washington Examiner report today, Fred Thompson is feeling out a possible run for “General Chairman” of the Republican National Committee. But there is more detail to the story. First, note the distinction between “General Chairman” and “Chairman.” The potential Thompson run envisions a two-tiered system like the one that worked under Reagan with Paul Laxalt as General Chairman (but that didn’t work so well recently with Mel Martinez as General Chairman). The General Chairman usually provides overall direction and philosophical moorings, and acts as the public face of the party doing media and speeches, etc., and also is available probably for big-money phone calls and events — but the Chairman, with an Executive Director under him, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the RNC. Think Chairman of the Board vs. CEO, perhaps.
Anyway, here are a host of other quotes from the “close Thompson advisor” who is quoted briefly in the Examiner story:
“We are hearing some interest from various sectors of the RNC that there is some interest in having Fred considered for general chairman. Two tiered…. His strong suit is in communications and reinforcing the foundational principles of the party. He’s really the only guy right now who can communicate in a way with the grass roots that nobody else can. He also is one of the few guys who understand the role technology can play. There needs to be a day to day chairman who is raising money, organizing, continue to build, but doing this as a team might be the most constructive way to do this.”
“Fred isn’t looking to run for national office again. He is looking to rebuild the party and help elevate the movement and its principles . When conservatives run on conservative principles they win. We know that. He would be an honest broker because he is not seeking national office again; he doesn’t have a dog in this fight. Everybody else who seems to be running seems to have an eye on helping a presidential candidate.”
“Katon Dawson for Mark Sanford.”
“Jim Greer for Charlie Crist.”
“David Norcross and Saul Anuzis with an eye toward Romney.”
“These guys are stalking horses for others.”
“Why are we essentially handing over the keys to the party to individuals who have an agenda for a particular person?
It’s important for the grassroots to have a voice in this. We needs honest brokers concerned about the party and the movement rather than a particular candidate. That’s how we will be best served.”
“There is some interest in some quarters in the RNC in the party for Fred to consider the job. But it’s very early in the process… It’s fair to say that he and his people are looking at the lay of the land. If there is an indication of a wellspring of support, he will get in quickly.”
“We’ve all learned some lessons from all this. Any job he takes would be number one for the good of the party. It would be a job to play to his strengths.”
“He would participate in fundraising. He would want an impact on technology and the way the RNC does campaigns and recruits. He would want to recruit real conservatives and encourage them to run. He helped Pete Olson win in Texas. He also helped Beatty in Massachusetts. He knows you have to have a conservative voice in campaigns even in uphill battles….”
Now, this is Quin talking again: I have subsequently learned that Chuck Yob of Michigan is one of (but not necessarily the only) the guys who might be paired with Thompson, with Yob as regular Chairman. Yob supposedly is testing the waters. Again, this is not (the last I heard) a ticket, but an example of one possibility. I also note that I am reporting here, not endorsing. I do not know enough abut the other potential candidates. I did speak at some length not too long ago with Katon Dawson, and came away convinced that he knows how to get things done politically. My regard for Thompson, though, as a communicator and as a person well grounded in winning conservative principles, is very high. His potential candidacy is quite intriguing, to say the least…..
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