RNC Chairman: Roles and Responsibilities

The Republican National Committee is the primary driving force behind our nation’s conservative political party. It is vital to the election pursuits of Republican politicians on the national and state levels.

The first rule in the organizational guidelines of the Republican National Committee clearly signifies the critical role the RNC plays in the general management of the party. There are two key positions in the RNC that are elected. Both the chair and co-chair of the RNC are full-time paid positions.

Republican National Committee Overview

The first Republican National Committee was formed in 1856. Originally, the RNC was composed of a single member from each U.S. state and territory. The RNC equally represents each state regardless of population.

In 1952, various guidelines were included to expand committee membership to reflect Republican sentiment in individual states. Since 2011, there are 168 members on the RNC. One chairman of the RNC went on to become President of the United States, George H.W. Bush.

Numerous Republican state governors have served as RNC chair. Across the last decade, the demographic of the Republican Party has been changing. This has been a central focus of the RNC, especially the chairperson.

The RNC’s key role is to provide direction and leadership to the Republican Party. It is the most powerful single body behind conservative politics in the United States. Let’s look at the roles and responsibilities for the person elected to chair this vital part of the Republican Party.

The Role and Responsibilities of the RNC Chair

The duties and responsibilities of the individual who has been designated as the RNC chair span an array of areas. Many have assumed the chair role on a national level after serving as the chairperson for an individual state.

Current RNC chairperson, Ronna McDaniel first served as chair to the Michigan Republican Party before assuming her current role as RNC chair. Let’s explore the role the RNC chairperson plays, including some important responsibilities.

The Face of the RNC

While the more prominent elected members of the Republican Party are more visibly recognizable as the face of the party, the RNC chairperson generates a massive amount of media exposure. They must have a strong public presence. As such they don’t get too deep into more fringe political issues that could lead to backlash, such as restrictions on residential water usage or the regulation of emerging pet products.

During various election cycles, the RNC chairperson will make numerous public appearances across multiple media outlets. The chair will do interviews addressing the election strategy and policy focus of the Republican Party. One key role of the chairperson is as the face of the RNC.

Election Strategy

The RNC chairperson must be a skilled communicator. This person will speak publicly concerning the vision of the Republican Party. There will be calls to debate contentious policy differences with the individual elected to chair the Democrat National Committee.

The ability of the RNC chairperson to articulate election strategy across the entire Republican Party is critical. This individual chairs vital meetings of all RNC members. Election strategies are made by group decision, but it is the RNC chair’s duty to formulate a plan for explaining this strategy to the voting public.

Fundraising and Recruitment

The RNC Chairperson works closely with the RNC board to coordinate fundraising and recruitment. They help establish the goals and develop a strategy for meeting these goals. Together with board members, the chairperson helps to design the RNC’s message.

The RNC chairperson helps organize the public efforts to build campaign donations and recruit new voters to the Republican Party. These are two of the most important responsibilities of the RNC chair.

It is the responsibility of the RNC chairperson to nominate the RNC, a chairman for the Republican Finance Committee. Blended with strong public communication skills, the RNC chairperson is a vital part of fundraising and recruitment.

Appointment of Counsel

Another important responsibility of the RNC chairperson is to appoint a general counsel to the Republican National Committee. This individual, including a staff, serves as counsel to various RNC committees and sub-committees. The council is approved by RNC vote but serves at the will of the RNC chairperson.

Member of the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee

The RNC chairperson is also the lead member of the important RNC Executive Committee. This committee has the power to utilize all executive and administrative functions of the RNC. The Executive Committee coordinates the election of officers to the RNC.

Executive Committee members, including the RNC chairperson, orchestrate the time, date, and location for the Republican National Convention. This committee is also entrusted with filing the nomination for the President and Vice-President for the Republican Party.

The Republican National Committee is a vital force within the Republican Party. It is the national organization that formulates the conservative party’s strategy. The RNC is the voice of conservative politics, and the RNC chairperson is the face of that voice. While not as visible as the actual candidates themselves, the RNC chairperson is a vital cog in the Republican Party.


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