John Ryder discussed the RNC elections, among many topics, at our Midtown Republican Club meeting Tuesday. Few Tennesseans are as knowledgeable about local and national politics as Ryder. As an RNC committeeman for Tennessee and longtime player in Republican politics in Memphis, his perspective is invaluable.
Ryder applauded the first actions of the new RNC chairman, Reince Priebus. “His first day in office, he fired the convention staff, which was a good move, then cut staff and paid off some of the huge debt the RNC has. I’m optimistic,” Ryder said. “I think he can raise money,” which was part of the problem outgoing chairman Michael Steele had.
“I like Steele. He’s a good spokesman and positive image,” he said, “but not a good manager. He wasn’t good at raising money. We are $23 million in debt, however.”
Ryder recounted Steele’s visit to last year’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Memphis.
“Afterwards I took him to Beale Street. He had a blast, even when drunks came up to him. At Blues City Cafe D’Army Bailey came over to him. He had heard he was coming and talked to him about the Civil Rights Museum. They had a good conversation.”