It’s been a very quiet race for RNC Committeewoman. But with just few days left to go, I thought I’d share my criteria.
1) Positions on the issue:
A) A conservative woman who espouses all the core principles articulated RNC National Platform.
2) Commitment to the party:
A) Willing serve out at least this term.
B) No conflicts of interest or inherent conflicts related to schedule.
C) Freedom to travel
3) Track record:
A) Working for and electing other candidates
B) Raising money for candidates
C) An experienced operative who is principled but understands political strategy.
A) Whoever is elected must project energy and be able to attract the growing demographic of young professional women to the Republican Party.
So let’s look at the candidates and see how they fit this criteria.
My understanding is that all 3 candidates are conservative Republicans of the highest character, who have a track record of supporting the entire platform. So on that count it’s a wash. But in a good way. This means this race is not going to be battle over ideology. Rather the decisions will be made based on who has the specific qualifications and experience required for this position.
The situation in Massachusetts is such that we are in a rebuilding mode. We desperately need and deserve someone who can afford to aggressively work for other candidates, while selling the Republican brand. Likewise, 2014 will bring us State as well as Congressional elections, not to mention a Senate race— no matter the outcome of the June special election. Again, we need and deserve an RNC National Committeewoman who can dedicate her self entirely to these races.
Sheila Harrington currently holds a seat as State Representative and presumably will either be seeking re-election or higher office. Holding office is already more than a full time job; running for office becomes a second full-time job. So I see time and scheduling issues right off the bat. She will also need to be a very partisan spokeswoman for the party. Defending the party and attacking her Democrat colleagues, might not be in her best interest, as she runs her local race. So there are certainly potentials for conflicts.
Looking at both Chanel Prunier and Helen Hatch, it would seem that both have the time to do the job. Both are already doing it in their current capacities. Neither one of them holds a Constitutional Office at the State or Federal level. So they aren’t going to be torn between seeking re-election, doing their job as legislators, and giving 100% to the highly partisan job of RNC National Committeewoman. This is what they have been and are already doing now.
Here we start to see even further distinction. To the best of my knowledge, Sheila Harrington doesn’t have an extensive record of raising money, working for, and electing other candidates. That’s not a knock. It is not to say she couldn’t do it, given the opportunity. Sheila is very accomplished attorney. She may well also have the required the skillset to do this job. But she simply doesn’t have the record; certainly not the same extensive record of both Helen and Chanel.
Helen Hatch, as a State Committeewoman has certainly worked for candidates in and around her district. Jim Dixon and Gerry Dembrowski come to mind immediately. Marc Lombardo was elected State Representative in her district under he watch. And of course we all know of her hard work for and dedication to Sandi Martinez over the years.
But here I’ve got to give the clear edge to Chanel Prunier. Her record in this regard, far exceeds both of the other candidates. Chanel is everywhere. She’s not only worked for candidates all over the state, she’s played a major roll in their victories. Our gains on Beacon Hill in 2010 were in great part do to her work. Most recently, she helped Leah Cole win a seat that had been previously been held by Democrats for at least 10 years. So Chanel not only has record of helping candidates, she’s got a winning track record. Beyond that Chanel has a unique ability to organize, motivate, and put grassroots a boots on the ground. This is exactly the kind of experience and past performance we should be looking for from a candidate to meet our current needs.
Normally, I reject identity politics. To be quite frank, I find that patronizing, condescending, and silly to specifically pick someone based on demographic appeal. Rather, we need to be choosing the best and brightest, the person with the best ideas and qualifications, irrespective of race, creed, color, gender, age shape, and so forth. But, the fact is we must have both a RNC Committeeman and RNC Committeewoman, instead of just two RNC Committee members. So by definition, these positions play into identity politics. That being the case, after we consider all of the aforementioned points, then we need to think about the image we want to project.
We must consider how to best disarm the Democrats and Media who seek to paint the GOP as out of touch with the growing demographic of single, young, professional women. The stereotype is that this age group, is inherently liberal, they want a nanny state, they are primarily concerned with their “Lady Parts.” Therefore choosing someone from Chanel’s generation to be the face of the party is definite plus. She can stand up and say: Yes, I’m a young, single, career oriented woman. I’m also conservative. I don’t need or want the government to be my nanny. I am far more than the sum of my “Lady Parts” thank you and I can worry about them myself! I espouse the principles held dear by my party and I believe now more than ever that those principles will lead to upward mobility and a better life for everyone, not just my generation.
I’ll repeat; we have 3 qualified candidates. I see no significant ideological differences. Certainly they are all honorable and loyal Republicans of unimpeachable character. All of them would a good job. Most importantly they have all run very clean campaigns. They are all to be congratulated for taking the high road. We may have our preferences, but no one should be upset over the results, if our first choice doesn’t win.
For me, it comes down to who fits the needs of the party at this time. This job requires innate political savvy and instincts. It takes someone who is all about getting results. It requires someone who has shown selfless dedication and ardent advocacy for the causes she believes in. Chanel Prunier embodies these personal qualities.