With strategies like this…. The Republican National Committee is set to unveil a new autopsy to help republicans change course and fix the problems that led to disappointment in the 2012 election. The report is expected to call for fewer debates, a tighter primary calendar and an earlier summer convention. It comes after Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday on CBS that the RNC will spend $10 million this year on outreach to minority voters. Priebus says the initiative “will include hundreds of people, paid across the country, from coast-to-coast, in Hispanic and African-American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in.” The Chair’s comments came on the same weekend that conservatives gathered in Maryland for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) made headlines for their speeches and for coming in first and second, respectively, in the heavily watched CPAC straw poll. But perhaps the biggest news-maker was former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who took shots at everything from President Obama, to gun background checks, to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban. While some conservatives lauded the former Vice Presidential candidate’s appearance, some establishment republicans appeared less than impressed, including GOP strategist Karl Rove, who responded to Palin’s criticism by mocking her tenure in office. One other figure who may have scored a victory by NOT attending the conference was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie’s much-discussed CPAC snub may have saved him from guilt by association at an event that would likely have done little for his re-election campaign or his 2016 prospects. So who will captain the conservative ship moving forward? Priebus and the RNC? Libertarian-leaning firebrands like Paul? Tea Party provens like Palin? Or cross-over leaders like Christie? If one thing can be learned about the GOP this weekend, it’s that the party has more questions marks than answers. We’ll discuss the confusion and more when we see you at noon ET, live from DC on msnbc.
Robert Gibbs, Former White House Press Secretary/msnbc Contributor
Nia Malika Henderson, National Political Reporter, The Washington Post (@niawapo)
Katty Kay, Anchor, BBC World News America (@kattykaybbc)
Eugene Robinson, Columnist, The Washington Post/msnbc Contributor (@eugene_robinson)
Rachel Maddow, msnbc Host, “The Rachel Maddow Show” (@maddow)