In the wake of the 2022 midterms, and the resulting red fizzle performance by Republicans, many on the right have been clamoring for a change in many of the GOP’s leadership positions. It seems that My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell has taken to heart Tucker Carlson’s warning to not “reward mediocrity”; Lindell announced today that he will run against Ronna McDaniel to become the next chairman of the RNC.
BREAKING: Mike Lindell just announced that he’s running against Ronna McDaniel for GOP chair — and Trump has already endorsed the My Pillow Guy.
This is going to be good!! 🍿🍿
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) November 28, 2022
Appearing this morning on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, Lindell said of his candidacy:
“With all my due diligence and in prayer, I am 100 percent running for RNC chairman against Ronna McDaniel,” Lindell said. “It’s going to change real fast. We’re going to get our country right, really quick.”
One of Lindell’s main complaints about the Republican Party structure is that they raise “money and then they don’t do anything with election crime.” He told Bannon that, as chairman, his focus would be on election integrity, stating he’d like to get the party to support Donald Trump-endorsed candidates like Kari Lake and Mark Finchem of Arizona. Lindell indicated he had garnered support from many party donors and planned to call all 168 committee members in an effort to oust McDaniel.
Speaking of Trump, Lindell told Axios he did not call the former president before announcing, stating, “This is my decision.” The two have appeared together many times and seem close, but supporting Lindell’s run for RNC chair could cause Trump some political headaches as he launches his 2024 presidential campaign. He’s already endorsed Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House, a move seen as supporting the Republican establishment. If Lindell does indeed have the support of big donors, it’s less risky for Trump to support him. But Trump did endorse McDaniel in 2016, and the new chairman will oversee the 2024 election cycle.
The Hill reported last week that McDaniel had the support of at least 101 RNC committee members:
The members wrote that McDaniel has led the RNC well and made it “a stronger and more effective force for our cause.”
“These are perilous times and the Biden presidency, abetted by the extremist consensus among Democrat Party elites and elected officials, has been, is, and will continue to be a disaster for our nation,” the letter continues.
“We believe we must elect a Republican President and more Republican Senators and House members in 2024 to restore, preserve, and protect the United States of America.”
Lee Zeldin, fresh off of giving Kathy Hochul a serious challenge in the New York gubernatorial race, has indicated he is also “very seriously considering” running for RNC chairman. In an email to committee members, he wrote:
“It is time for our party to retool, transform, win back the Presidency in 2024, expand our number of Republican held seats in Congress, and elect the maximum number of down ballot races across the country,” Zeldin said in the message. “The Republican Party needs to be all in to do everything in its power to save America.”
Zeldin has momentum on his side and, although he lost his own race, is widely credited for helping flip four seats in New York for the GOP, propelling Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives come January. He has just enough political experience to make him knowledgeable about party mechanics, but not so much that he’s seen as part of the old guard. This has to be intriguing for many RNC committee members, and McDaniel would doubtless see her 101-vote advantage dwindle if Zeldin were to decide to join Mike Lindell in mounting a challenge against her.
Some claim Republicans are in the midst of a civil war, which may be true, but it may also simply be a righting of the ship. There’s no reason not to have a robust challenge to leadership positions, and the RNC race will certainly be an early indicator of how the party plans to move forward after a disappointing cycle.
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