GOP boss Priebus expected to stay

BY: Paul Bedard | November 12, 2012 | 12:00 am

Updated...Priebus reveals he's already looking to "get on offense."

His Election Night tweet of "Wishing @BarackObama a happy retirement party tonight!" didn't come true, but virtually nobody in the GOP establishment is blaming Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for last week's election disaster.

In fact, Secrets learns that Priebus has received support for reelection to chairman from over 100 of 168 RNC members, an election lock since only 85 are needed to win.

Senior GOP officials said that Priebus, who raised enough money to wipe out a debt of $25 million he inherited and another $60 million for ads in the last election, is leaning toward running for reelection. He is expected to announce his plans later this week.

He is currently talking his future over with his wife, who prefers living back home in Wisconsin. Friends said that Priebus initially thought he would chair the party for just two years. But he sounded ready for a second term, telling Secrets that he is "just cleaning things up at the RNC, putting together a long term plan to study the election, move forward positively, correct and/or enhance, and get on offense."

Some associates suggest that if he stays on, he might operate like former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean who spent three or four days a week in Washington or traveling on party business then returned home to Vermont for long weekends.

Some who have urged him to stay on for a second term want Priebus and his staff to map out the GOP comeback plan. A midterm victory in 2014 and a successful campaign battle plan for 2016 would secure his legacy as chairman.

The chairmanship election take place in late January and by then the RNC hopes to have completed an initial analysis and evaluation of what happened to Republicans and presidential candidate Mitt Romney in last week's elections. Unlike past chairman who have taken some blame for GOP election failures, many top party officials instead blame the Romney campaign and some outside groups for Tuesday's election failure. Plus, Priebus of Wisconsin gets credit for helping Gov. Scott Walker keep his job in this year's recall election and advising his friend Rep. Paul Ryan.

Author:

Paul Bedard

Washington Secrets