For the last several days we’ve been chronicling how various right-wing leaders have been rallying behind Ken Blackwell in his campaign to become the next head of the Republican National Committee – perhaps nobody more so than Tony Perkins, who has dedicated the lead article in his daily “Washington Update” to proclaiming Blackwell the “right man at the right time“
What the future holds for the Republican Party will be largely decided by the selection of the next Republican National Committee chairman. As you may have noticed, the list of potential suitors includes a familiar face to the FRC family, our own Ken Blackwell. After weighing the decision of whether or not to throw his hat in the ring, Ken ultimately decided that the opportunity to advance a pro-family agenda in the GOP was compelling. Although I have historically declined to endorse candidates in party elections, this is a tremendous opportunity for a proven public servant to re-interject traditional values into a party that has lost its way. For that reason, I support and encourage others to support Ken Blackwell for chairman of the RNC. His record of service to our nation and his commitment to core conservative issues make him the clear choice in this race.
At a debate yesterday hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, Ken called for a renewal of the Republican Party. He understands that any successful movement must embody a strong grassroots effort that empowers state and local communities. The RNC will make a very critical decision when it meets at the end of January to select the party’s new chairman. If they choose a moderate, it could mean a continued drift from core conservative principles. On the other hand, the selection of Ken Blackwell would assure conservatives that they finally have a true advocate in a party that has increasingly attempted to marginalize them.
It is clear that Blackwell’s supporters see him as their best hope for making their right-wing agenda the centerpiece of the GOP’s politics moving forward and are doing everything in their power to ensure his election … even going so far as to shut down an RNC straw poll that Blackwell appeared poised to lose:
A straw poll that could have influenced the outcome of an upcoming election for Republican National Committee chairman slammed into a wall of unexpected opposition Monday, largely with the help of supporters of former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, several participants in a meeting of a rump group of RNC members said.
The planned poll was supposed to rank how conservative Mr. Blackwell, Mr. Steele and four other Republican national chairman hopefuls are — at least in the estimation of the rump group.
But some members told The Washington Times that Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, the incumbent chairman seeking re-election, probably would have won a plurality in such a poll, weakening both Mr. Blackwell, who has strong outside backing from prominent conservatives, and Mr. Steele, who some on the national committee regard with suspicion for consorting with the handful of prominent liberals in the Republican Party.
The 28-17 vote to cancel the poll came during an extraordinary meeting — 37 who showed up in person and others who participated by phone — of an ad hoc group calling itself the Conservative Steering Committee, an exclusive assemblage of self-identified conservatives who are part of the 168-member RNC and who formed to try to ensure a conservative is elected as the next national party chairman at the end of this month.