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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell launches odd campaign for RNC chair

The good news for Ronna McDaniel’s Republican critics is that she's facing a high-profile rival. The bad news is that the rival is the pillow guy.


Ronna McDaniel’s tenure as chair of the Republican National Committee has not been without setbacks. In her first election cycle as the RNC’s leader, her party lost control of the U.S. House. In her second election cycle atop the party, Republicans lost the White House and the U.S. Senate. And in her third election cycle at the RNC — this year — McDaniel saw her party fall far short of expectations.

On Fox News over the weekend, South Dakota’s Republican governor, Kristi Noem, in apparent reference to McDaniel, said, “I don’t know if a party can continue to lose like we have and keep their jobs.”

The incumbent RNC chair is nevertheless seeking a fourth term. For McDaniel’s intra-party detractors, the good news is that she now has a high-profile rival. The bad news for Republicans looking for an alternative to McDaniel is that the rival is the pillow guy. Axios reported overnight:

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced Monday that he is running to chair the Republican National Committee. Driving the news: “I am 100% running for the RNC chairman against [current chair] Ronna McDaniel,” Lindell told Steve Bannon, an ally to former President Trump and ex-White House strategist.

As part of the same interview, Lindell told Bannon, “I’m all in ... and one of the things that one of the big donors said to me, he said, ‘Mike, everybody wants you to be head of the RNC, some of them just don’t know it yet.’”

The notorious election denier even has a platform of sorts, telling Bannon, “The RNC collects money and then they don’t do anything with election crime.”

While Lindell’s candidacy is difficult to take seriously — his bonkers election conspiracy theories have made him a clownish figure in American politics — it doesn’t come out of nowhere: It was about a year ago when McDaniel grudgingly acknowledged the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s presidency, drawing a rebuke from the pillow guy, who’s embraced Trump’s “big lie” with a little too much enthusiasm.

But what’s especially notable about Lindell’s campaign to lead the RNC is the backdrop in which it’s unfolding.

Indeed, let’s not forget that Donald Trump welcomed the pillow guy into his political fold in the wake of Election Day 2020, and Lindell was seen at the White House after the Jan. 6 attack with a paper with the words “insurrection act” and “martial law if necessary” on it. When the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 subpoenaed Lindell’s records, no one was especially surprised.

What’s more, as regular readers might recall, congressional investigators aren’t the only ones interested in him: The FBI served Lindell with a search warrant two months ago, and at the time, agents seized his cellphone.

And did I mention that he’s also facing a serious lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems? Because that case is ongoing, too.

These seem like the sort of details RNC members might take into consideration when choosing the party’s national chair. They also probably give McDaniel some additional confidence about her bid for a fourth term.