The RNC report should have had a section looking at Republicans who still think the Iraq war was a good idea ten years later.
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) March 18, 2013
RNC chairman Reince Priebus debuted the party’s big post-election study at the National Press Club this morning. In the interview above with Bob Schieffer he refers to it as a “national marketing and branding campaign.” It’s not a policy document, so aside from immigration reform, there aren’t many recommendations on that front. With that in mind, its utility is pretty limited; for many of these efforts, especially on the digital front, the “how” is going to be a lot more important than the “what.” The devil will be in the details, and there aren’t too many here. Not to mention the fact that the major divisions in the Republican Party have more to do with policy than strategy. Nonetheless, here are its five most significant points:
- Digital focus — Some of the GOP’s updates in this area were already known before, like hiring a Chief Technology Officer to lead a nationwide data project. The report mentions a new “Data Analytics Institute,” opening up APIs to candidates, state parties, third party developers, and friendly nonprofits, and the intention to hire large numbers of new digital professionals and a pipeline to train them. TheDC’s Josh Peterson has more.
- Minority outreach — One of the few policies the report does mention specifically is immigration reform, as a necessity for reaching out to Hispanics. In the above State of the Union interview, Priebus announces a $10 million outreach program to minority communities, involving volunteers paid to be “part of the community on an ongoing basis.” The report also mentions an “Inclusion Council” to “expand and diversify” the GOP.
- Liberty movement — It’s not mentioned in the paper, but Priebus said during the press conference today that “we will also network with organizations that are part of the liberty movement” to “strengthen our ties and mobilize volunteers.”
- Fundraising — While acknowledging the need to court more lower-dollar donors, the report is largely positive about the GOP’s fundraising in the 2012 cycle. It also emphasized the need to work closely with state fundraising committees and find smarter and more creative ways to attract donors online.
- “Celebrity Task Force” — In a section on how to attract younger voters, the report recommends creating a “task force” comprising “personalities in the entertainment industry to host events for the RNC and allow donors to participate in entertainment events as a way to attract younger voters.” Surrogates Clint Eastwood, Adam Baldwin, and Ted Nugent to the rescue.
Random admission that seems important in the context of a post-Citizens United campaign finance environment: “The federalization of a huge swath of state and local grassroots activity has put many state and local parties in the intensive care unit and made it much harder for them to engage in grassroots activities.”
Priebus also turned 41 today. Ramesh Ponnuru on the report’s main flaw: the assumption that the key to success can be found in the GOP’s 30 governorships.