A Look at Our New Leader

Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus

Most of us are unfamiliar with the new head of the RNC, Reince Priebus.

Heck, we don’t even know how to pronounce his name. I learned that it’s Rhine with an s at the end, and pree-bus.

He’s from Wisconsin and came to prominence with the success of Republicans there in November’s election. Wisconsin got a Republican governor and unseated liberal Democrat Senator Russ Feingold, plus gained more new state legislators.

Priebus is just 38 and has a wife, Sally. Their first date was at a Lincoln Day dinner and they married in 1999.  They have two children, Jack, 5, and baby Grace.  They will move to Washington, D.C., from their Wisconsin home in Congressman Paul Ryan’s district.

Priebus  worked for the Republican party since age 10 when he started volunteering. He  graduated from the University of Miami law school, then joined a law firm in Wisconsin.

Many see him as more humble than Michael Steele and one who has never turned a blind eye to the grassroots. In fact, Wisconsin GOP executive director Mark Jefferson likes his attitude. “If someone from Barron County or Douglas County wants Reince to come speak at their Lincoln Day dinner, he’s happy to do it,” he says.

As for his reception in the blogosphere, Priebus hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. However, Powerline found three positive things they like about him. He isn’t Michael Steele. He was successful as head of the GOP in Wisconsin and he gained the confidence of the committee that elected him.  As they see it, the RNC chair needs to have the confidence of donors, decent organizational skills and the ability to stay out of the limelight or trouble.

The very conservative Erick Erickson of Redstate.com weighed in, too. “I’ve been inundated with calls from ardent defenders of his this past week from Wisconsin who say he was a significant player in the profound turnaround up there. That so many have called this week to support him – people who are authentically and unquestionably grassroots – is encouraging.”

Let’s hope he’s up to the task ahead.

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