Nourafshan: Leadership key for GOP


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Since losing big across the board in the 2012 election, many have predicted a radical overhaul in the GOP’s political strategy.  While there has been some debate in the party about whether substance or style has been the primary problem, Republicans are finally publicly acknowledging that the post-Bush policies have not been effective and that the Republican brand has suffered as a result.

While this preliminary self-reflection is promising, the party has major questions of leadership ahead: In a short time, the two-year term of the GOP chairman will end, and the party will need to choose a new leader.

Reince Priebus, the current chairman of the GOP, is eligible for a second two-year term. While Priebus has been remarkably successful as a fundraiser for the party, the question remains on whether Priebus’s leadership and vision, rather than fundraising bona fides, merit a second term.

Priebus was elected after the 2010 midterm, when the GOP made big gains in Congress. Under his regime, however, the party not only lost the presidency, it also failed to take back the Senate and lost many Congressional seats to Democratic challengers.

Priebus has had many successes during his tenure as chairman: He restored the faith of many disillusioned donors, for example, returning the party to financial surplus form a period of debt.

Many high-ranking members of the Republican Party assert that despite the defeat of GOP candidates in the 2012 election, Priebus has rebuilt a strong foundation for the party and should have a second term.

Where Priebus may have fallen short as GOP chairman is on managing the numerous gaffes that have come out of the party. Throughout the campaign, GOP candidates for office displayed a proclivity for making comments that are out of step with the majority of the country. Even after losing the election, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues making such statements.

Should the party select Priebus for a second term, it remains to be seen whether the party will pull it together for a victory in 2016, or whether an identity crisis 2.0 will take place then.

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