Skip to comments.RNC eyeing Dawson? (State GOP chairman mentioned in national publications as contender)
Posted on 11/07/2008 5:46:33 PM PST by nickcarraway
State GOP Chairman Katon Dawson's name is being floated as a contender to lead the country's Republicans, weakened by Election Day defeats across the country.
Neal Thigpen, a political science professor at Francis Marion University, said Thursday that Dawson could be well-positioned to take the reins as chairman of the Republican National Committee, especially as the South Carolina GOP held strong against a Democratic tidal wave elsewhere.
Given the state of the party now, earning the position at this time could be an easier battle but the payoff would be less, Thigpen said.
"Being the chairman of the out party in terms of power is really fool's gold," Thigpen said. "What I mean by it is, you've got usually a thankless job in rebuilding the party, rasing more money and trying to get the party back on its feet."
Dawson, the country's third longest-serving state GOP chairman, said he is flattered that his name has been mentioned in publications, including The Washington Post and TIME, and that he would be interested in the position but has not decided.
Right now, Dawson said his focus is on helping his party analyze the election and figure out where to go next. He has invited colleagues and members of the national committee to Myrtle Beach next weekend for an information gathering.
Thigpen said it would be tradition for current RNC Chairman Mike Duncan to step down, given the party's presidential loss. Duncan was elected to the position in January 2007. "Someone's got to pay," Thigpen said.
Thigpen said as the contenders line up, he'd expect a "scrap" for the job. But, he said, Dawson would hold up well, considering his winning record in South Carolina and Dawson's personal assets. "He's done a sterling job here," Thigpen said. "He's young. He's an attractive man. He's smart. He's got some money.
"He loves grabbing the other side by the hair. You've got to have that kind of ability."
Yes, but he is a Lindsey Graham Republican by default, isn’t he?
The OK and TX GOP held strong for now in 2008 too, but the party lost ground in AL and esp. VA.
I saw a few interviews he’s given...seems pretty good.
I will admit, I’d prefer Newt but this guy Dawson is a class act
Don’t know enough about him. But one thing is certain. NOTHING but true conservatives from here on. Now is the time to clean house from one end to the other.
Get your memberships and get ready to vote
Hell no. I want new and young blood. This is not about patronage. These old farts need to step aside and get out the way. This is how we got McCain foisted upon us.
What’s wrong with Michelle Bachman? And by the way, where are all the male counterparts to Palin and Bachman?
Have you seen how South Carolina has done politically? Dawson has been party chairman throughout the Sanford years, iow since 2002. He's not exactly an old fart, either: 52. Party rebirth is going to have to come up from the state level.
Katon is extremely popular with the partys base. His successful efforts to turnaround the SCGOPs debt left behind by the poor management of Henry McMaster along with his recent well publicized policy positions has turned him into a favorite among the party faithful. Dawson would not have to give up his chairmanship if he ran against Graham, which would allow him to garner the necessary level of earned media most fringe candidates would struggle to get.
I agree. No more Rinos.
I love Bachman. But why give up a Congressional seat to be the RNC Chair?
If Dawson is too old for you, how young do you want? Do they have to be in their 40's? 30's? Is he a bad candidate because he's from a state where Republicans have been successful and already have reform underway?
I'm still learning about the guy but you seem to have rejected him out of hand just because he chaired a state party.
Dawson sounds pretty good. If they went with Gingrich or Steele I think they could do a good job too.
I think my favorite chairman in recent times was Haley Barbour. Maybe he should go back for a second stint. I wonder if he could do it and serve as governor at the same time.
I’m in South Carolina. Running the GOP Party here is like running the Democrat Party in Vermont.
I admit my original post was a kneejerk reaction. I’ve never heard of Dawson. No nothing about him.
I guess that's why the party was inept and bankrupt and the state was being run by Jim Hodges.
Now, I'm not saying the turnaround is majorly due to Dawson, but the SC GOP has come a long way and still has a long way to go, and somehow I don't think Andre Bauer and Tom Ravenel will be leading it into the future.
If he’s a Sanford guy, great. Graham, not so great.
Dawson has been campaigning among the leaders of the conservative movement like Brent Bozell. One of the other possible chairmen is Tina Benkiser, the Texas Chairman who is said to be close to the Evangelical conservatives (hopefully not Huckabee). These would both be full time party technicians, not known as party spokesmen. Newt could be both. Any of the ones I have heard of would be much better than the last several GOP Chairman.
“The OK and TX GOP held strong for now in 2008 too, but the party lost ground in AL and esp. VA.”
Ted R my man! Given your persistent pessimism, I am shocked that I am actually less optimistic than you wrt Texas.
We did NOT hold strong. After a weak 2006, we lost ground, with a few bright spots but also with some troubling trends in particular in the core urban counties.
We only “held our own” in Texas at the top. The rot in GOP support spread. We lost Harris county, which after losing Dallas in 2006 is like the break in the dam. The top 5 urban counties outside El Paso are - Travis, Harris, Tarrant, Bexar, Harris. All now tilt Dem.
Here’s Gary Polland ripping into the Harris GOP:
The Obama/Dem side targetted Harris, the GOP knew it and tried to respond, but failed. We NEED a way to win back the core urban areas or at least get more competitive.
This is the trendline to purple from deep red. The topline was a 12 point McCain win, with Cornyn not even making 55%, and I know that his campaign staffers were aiming for 60%.
We lost 1 State senate seat (Davis beat Brimer), and lost several good conservatives in the Statehouse, so we now have a narrow 2 seat majority.
You can read here about how ticked off I am with the LP of Texas, who robbed Travis of our last GOP commissioner and let a liberal Democrat take HD52:
BTW, the loss of Brimer also had an LP spoiler.
Other local bad news, we lost the 3rd court of appeals, which in 2006 and prior years we held off by keeping the Travis margins low enough.
The good news is we won TX-22, Pete Olson is a new Congressman, and we still won every single statwide race, by about 8 points or more.
Last, underfunded candidate Rob Curnock against CHEAT Edwards in TX-17 did a creditable job of keeping CHEAT to 53%.
While there is a bottom-line of GOP strength in the state of Texas, the urban county trends are not good, and the top-line numbers are such that a strong Democrat could defeat a weak Republican. We will have to reverse them or stop those trends if we are to keep Texas an enduring Republican states.
Ravenel isn’t going anywhere but to drug rehab.
“I admit my original post was a kneejerk reaction. “
That’s a bad habit we MUST stop. Let’s stop shooting at our own good guys.
I dont know this guy from SC so cant comment. OTOH:
Tina Benkhiser (TX GOP head). Sorry, but I dont think she’s that great to deserve that promotion.
Texas GOP has not done well last 2 cycles, and we have a possible Perry v Hutchison tranwreck coming. What will she do to stop it?
Another comment: A southern-oriented chairman might not be the best at the biggest task we face - rebuilding in the midwest and northeast.
So what about the Mighican guy? Saul Anuzi?
Also, My top pick is Gingrich. WE NEED IDEAS AND AN ABILITY TO ARTICULATE A MESSAGE. GINGRICH IS IT. The other benefit is that WE HAVE NO REAL LEADER NOW, without a President.
GINGRICH IS AN ARTICULATE SPOKESMAN.
Make Gingrich the RNC Chair and put one of the state party chairs in the vice-chair role to run the organization.
“These would both be full time party technicians, not known as party spokesmen. Newt could be both. “
That’s the rub.
The best RNC Chair in 20 years was Haley Barbour. he was a good spokesman and a good leader.
I don’t know much about Steele, but he seems to be charismatic and good with the media when I’ve seen him.
I’m so glad Free Republic is back. I was afraid 0bama’s goons had silenced it already.
If Haley Barbour could be a full time chairman that would be great but I don’t want to see him leave as governor.
He has that thick accent that supposedly is a turn off to some. Moderate Republicans say we nominate to many southerners at the top of the ticket. That was not the case this year, and we lost anyway. Same in 1996. In recent elections the GOP only seems to win when there’s a Texan running.
I dont want barbour as RNC Chair. I want net Gingrich.
Haley Barbour though is a good example to follow in what we need.
Let’s keep him as your Governor.