CivicForumPac Chairman Ford O’Connell’s response to “Bent Steele at RNC?” in Politico Arena:
The reason Michael Steele is unlikely to be reelected to lead the RNC is because he isn’t leaving a legacy – other than a large debt and a track record of excessive spending. And we saw last November what the Republican grassroots thinks about that kind of track record.
Unfortunately for the GOP, 2012 won’t be like 2010. The Democrats’ enthusiasm gap will be a thing of the past, and it will be tough for Republicans to match the campaign resources and infrastructure of President Obama. Obama’s campaign will rival or exceed the organizational prowess of the well-oiled machine that was the Bush 2004 campaign, and it will dwarf that effort in resources with perhaps as much as $1 billion in overall funding.
Against this potent storm, the new RNC leader will face significant donor ambivalence. If the RNC can’t quickly address real concerns about its ability to put donor dollars to good use, it could find itself facing an uphill battle against the proven fundraising record of the president.
The new leader must also be prepared to implement an effective get-out-the-vote operation from day one. Time is short. Effective GOTV efforts can take months, if not years, to build, and Organizing For America already has a significant head start.
A 50-state plan sounds lofty, but the reality is that the 2012 election outcome will hinge on a much smaller number of states. Resources must go where they will do the most good, and political needs must trump political favors every time.
Beyond that, the RNC leader must build strong ties to the Hispanic community, particularly in states such as Florida, Nevada and New Mexico where Hispanic support could determine the outcome in 2012. This will require significant shoe leather, not just conference calls and sound bites from headquarters.