The National Republican Congressional Committee brought in $17.5 million at its annual fundraising dinner featuring former Vice President Cheney, an NRCC source tells The Hill. That take is larger than the election-year total NRCC brought in when it had former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a headliner last year.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which focuses on electing Republicans to the U.S. House, originally asked Mitt Romney to headline its March fundraising event -- the committee's biggest fundraiser of the year. For whatever reason, the failed presidential hopeful declined.
And so, the NRCC moved on to its second choice: former Vice President Dick Cheney. The fallback plan seems to have worked out quite well.
Last year, of course, was an election year. At the NRCC's big event in 2014, the party raised $15 million to help elect House Republican candidates, and the fundraiser was considered a big success.
This year isn't an election year; the NRCC was stuck with a failed and unpopular V.P. as the headliner; and the party raised more than $17 million.
The Hill's report added, "The total shows the controversial former vice president is still a big draw in GOP circles." Yes, apparently so.
But it's also a reminder about why Republican officials continue to embrace Cheney as a national party leader, his catastrophic failures in office notwithstanding.
Cheney's role as a fundraising headliner comes the same month the former V.P. spoke to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill about his thoughts on foreign policy.
Which came on the heels of a briefing Cheney delivered in the fall to House Republicans on foreign policy.
Which came on the heels of Cheney meeting with members of the Republican Study Committee.
Which came on the heels of Cheney delivering a foreign policy briefing to House Republicans.
As we discusseda few weeks ago, we’re not talking about the former vice president roaming the halls of Capitol Hill, looking for an audience, and Republicans giving him a platform as a courtesy. Rather, this is GOP lawmakers seeking Cheney’s guidance on purpose. And that’s quite discouraging -- given his track record, Cheney shouldn't be guiding anyone on anything.
When he was on “Meet the Press” last month, defending torture as a responsible national-security policy, some suggested it didn’t much matter because Cheney’s power is in the past – he no longer holds elected office and he’ll probably never have any official power again.
But his abhorrent views remain relevant so long as he helps lead congressional Republicans.