I hope everyone is off to a great 2011! There is a wave of excitement with the new congress and the hope of a new president in 2012. However, as it has been well documented, that isn't likely to happen unless the financial balance scales tip toward the GOP. For the past two years, Michael Steele (who I will admit thinking was a great pick at the time) acted poorly as the leader of the RNC. When Mr. Steele first took over, there was a $25 Million in the bank, and he leaves Reince Priebus with a $21 Million hole to fill. That is not all that Mr. Priebus will have to fix, as this article by Karl Rove clearly points out, but if that problem isn't fixed, the rest of what he works to accomplish will be in vein.
Today, there was a great article in the USA Today (I know - doesn't happen often) about how much is already changing. Mr. Priebus is working hard at changing both the perception and the practice of the RNC, freezing spending and working late (not on the TV circuit). I don't doubt for one second the heart that Steele felt for his position, and believe that there were some things he did well, but do agree that there needed to be a change.
First, a "well-done" for Mr. Steele on his part for firing Pelosi. The republican wave in 2010 was strong, and there are many factors, but to discount what Steele was able to do, would be a mistake. However, most seem to point to campaigns like that as one of the reasons for the "net negative" for his two years of leadership, and that is also a mistake. If done correctly, a campaign like "Fire Pelosi" would raise money - not cost money. But that wasn't Steele's focus, he was a spender, and thought that money would follow success.
Second, just because someone identifies a problem, doesn't mean they know how to solve it. Fund-raising at this level is tricky - because you are dealing with people who have agendas AND are used to getting what they want. However, the most important aspect of raising funds from "high donors" is to have an easy to understand strategy, and to demonstrate it's effectiveness. Major donors want to KNOW that there contributions will be respected and purposeful - as do all donors.
Mr. Priebus is in a difficult position, but also one where there is much opportunity. I for one, believe he will be up to the challenge! If you would like to help get this new era off to a great start, here is a link where you can.