As the GOP presidential field battles over the morality of capitalism, the candidates might be grateful that at least one Republican isn’t ashamed to be hauling in the cash. Reince Priebus may not have worked at Bain, but he knows the value of a buck.
One year into his chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, Mr. Priebus will soon be announcing the fruits of his 2011 labors, and the news is that the GOP is (finally) back in the money game. The party may not have a nominee, but what it does have is an organization that looks ever more able to support one.
A source confides that the RNC landed $27 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its year-end fund-raising total to a sizable $87 million. Nearly $12 million was collected in December alone, the largest monthly sum in a non-election year since the early George W. Bush days. This also marks four out of the past five months that the RNC has beat its Democratic counterpart—despite President Obama’s formidable fund-raising powers.
These numbers are noteworthy in the absolute; they are striking in the relative. Two years ago, the RNC was the political equivalent of vaudeville, its chairman, Michael Steele, more interested in center stage than the fundamentals of fund raising and organizing. In a year that should have created a tea party-fueled slam dunk, the RNC alienated top donors, frittered away crucial dollars, and spread itself too thin to deliver on prime opportunities.