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What went wrong in 2012? Let's appoint a committee!

The Republican National Committee has decided to look ahead to future races.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

The Republican National Committee has decided to look ahead to future races. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus launched an initiative Monday with two central missions: to examine what did and didn't work in the 2012 election and to expand the Republican Party. Titled the "Growth and Opportunity Project," the effort will be carried out by a committee chaired by five prominent Republican leaders:

  • Henry Barbour, National Committeeman from Mississippi
  • Zori Fonalledas, National Committeewoman from Puerto Rico
  • Glenn McCall, National Committeeman from South Carolina
  • Sally Bradshaw, Veteran senior strategist in Florida and national politics
  • Ari Fleischer, Former White House Press Secretary

The overall goal, said Priebus, is to review past practices and also to make recommendations for future campaigns. In addition to analyzing the party's messaging, fundraising tactics, and future races in 2014 and 2016, the committee will report its findings to Priebus and lay out a long-term strategy for the party's future. Chairman Priebus added, "I've appointed a talented group of individuals to study eight key areas, and I look forward to working with these outstanding Republicans as they conduct rigorous analysis and engage in important conversations. The work of the Growth and Opportunity Project will be critical as we move forward as a Party and take our message to every American."

The leaders will reach out to hundreds of individuals including other RNC Members, past and potential donors, grassroots activists, elected officials, and community leaders to pinpoint priorities. Co-Chairman Sharon Day commented, "This is a time of great opportunity for the Republican Party. I am excited for the future of the GOP and am confident this project will strengthen our cause tremendously in the coming years.

The plan highlights eight areas of review:  1) campaign mechanics and ground game; 2) messaging; 3) fundraising; 4) demographic partners and allies; 5) third party groups; 6) campaign finance issues; 7) presidential primaries; and 8) lessons learned from Democratic campaign tactics. The main focus of the review is search for potential new voters for future victories.

An insider told Politico that "the GOP has problems but they are solvable. We have to look at what we are doing right and what we’re doing wrong and lay out our vision and plans for Americans so everyone knows what we stand for. 2010 was the biggest mid-term win for one party since the 1938 election. Our ideas still resonate, but we need to examine what’s working and what isn’t. We have 30 governors right now, but we want to listen and learn so we do better in presidential years as well."

A Republican Super-PAC is also assessing 2012's disappointing election cycle, and is hoping to identify future leaders of the Republican Party for the next round of congressional elections.