Illinois’ Turn in the Primary Battle and Taking Reince Priebus to Task

After being robo-called to the point of insanity yesterday by both the Romney and Santorum campaigns, it’s been somewhat quiet on the suburban front, although the phones are picking up again.

I channel surfed among the Sunday morning political talk shows, and after this morning’s Face the Nation, I’m pretty ticked off with RNC chairman, Reince Priebus.

RNC Chair, Reince Priebus on Face the Nation, March 18, 2012

I’ve been involved in politics for a long time on all fronts — elected, appointed, and campaigning.  This primary fight is like no other I’ve seen, and cannot be compared to the 2008 fight between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, so I wish Mr. Priebus would stop using that analogy, because he’s wrong.  Totally.

The President’s re-election campaign committee knows they have an uphill fight, and they’ve assembled a state of the art technology war room, that has already made itself heard in the Ohio primary, through micro-targeting women on the contraception issue.

To have this Republican primary battle go into June and beyond under the guise of “let it play out” as some have suggested, not only is doing irreparable harm to the Party and its ultimate nominee, but is squandering capital with many American voters who are looking for, or considering, alternatives to Barack Obama. Precious time is being lost in fundraising, video production, and outreach to voters on behalf of the Party’s intended nominee in what is going to be a very tough election.

While each candidate’s campaign is responsible for its strategy and tactics, they are still running for the nomination of the Republican party, and as chairman of that Party, Priebus has a responsibility to ensure that its candidate receives the best shot possible at defeating Barack Obama.  A strong chairman can send signals, muted or otherwise, that ego trips don’t belong in a campaign after the writing’s on the wall. And that writing is becoming more apparent with each passing primary.

This morning on Face the Nation, when asked if Newt Gingrich should leave the race, Priebus should have responded in vein similar to, Newt will do the right thing when it comes to the best interests of the party.

Primaries may make candidates stronger, but they also take a toll on them, their supporters and financial resources.  Right now, poll numbers here in Illinois suggest that Romney will carry the state.  And if this trend continues, and this race mires down into a “deny Romney”, then the it becomes less of a defeat Barack Obama, and more of a personal vendetta.  For Santorum, that’s not very Christian; for Gingrich, enough said.

P.S.  Mr.Priebus, you need to sharpen your game on Keystone XL.  When Schieffer asked you this morning to respond to David Axelrod’s comment about the Republicans’ forcing a two month decision on the President, you could have responded that Keystone was studied and vetted for three years, and given the “go” signal; the President chose to please his environmental wing in the Democratic Party over 20,000 well paying, shovel-ready jobs.

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