What will Michael Steele do with the presidential primary calendar?

The power of the chairman to impact the future of the party is, to a degree, limited. Michael Steele will be able to attract a range of people that other candidates may not have been able to. But there is one area in which  the Chairman’s race for the Republican National Committee will have significant power. He will pick the committee that sets the next primary calendar.

RNC rule 10(d), added this year, creates a "Temporary Delegate Selection Committee" which Steele "shall convene …  as soon as practicable after the 2009 Republican National Committee Winter Meeting", at which he was elected.  The Committee will make a recommendation to the full RNC, which must approve or reject it on a 2/3rds vote of the full committee by the Summer meeting of 2010, to complete the process before the presidential nomination contest begins in full. (the full text of the rule is after the jump)

The key thing is that Steele picks 11 of the members and will have almost complete control over the committee, if he wants it. What will Michael Steele do? What will Michael Steele want? This could be a major legacy of his term as chairman. It will complete before he has to run for re-election in 2011, and it will probably mark the beginning of Presidential maneuvering. Also, given the differences between RNC and DNC rules, whatever deal that Steele cuts with the Democrats on this will likely be long-standing. 

Region Member Defeated
Northeast David Norcross (NJ) Ron Kaufman (MA)
South John Ryder (TN) Morton Blackwell (VA)
Midwest Pete Ricketts (NE) Bob Bennett (OH)
West Fredi Simpson (WA) Ron Nehring (CA)

The remaining four members were elected at the Winter Meeting. The elected members, their regions, and who they defeated are in the table. For people who follow, the RNC, these are interesting. Norcross and Ryder are two old RNC hands, while Ricketts and Simpson are new. My understanding is that the issue in the West was simply an anti-California one, while Bennett, the author of this rule, was rejected partly over this rule and the way that the issue was handled at the Convention.

The complete rule 10(d) and an embed of the complete RNC rules are after the jump.

 

There shall be a temporary committee to review the timing of the election, selection, allocation, or binding of delegate and alternate delegates pursuant to Rule No. 15(b) of these rules to the 2012 Republican National Convention. The Temporary Delegate Selection Committee shall be composed of fifteen (15) members, which shall include one (1) member of the Republican National Committee from each of the four (4) regions described in Rule No. 5, elected by the members of the Republican National Committee from each region at the 2009 Republican National Committee Winter Meeting; further, the chairman of the Republican National Committee will appoint three (3) additional members of the Republican National Committee and six (6) Republicans who are not members of the Republican National Committee. The chairman and general counsel of the Republican National Committee shall serve as ex-officio voting members. The chairman of the Republican National Committee shall convene the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee as soon as practicable after the 2009 Republican National Committee Winter Meeting. The Temporary Delegate Selection Committee shall make any recommendations it deems appropriate concerning additions to Rule No. 15(b) of these rules, provided that such additions shall preserve the provisions of Rule No. 15(b) adopted by the 2008 Republican National Convention, which shall be voted upon without amendment by the Republican National Committee at the 2010 Republican National Committee Summer Meeting and which shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote to be adopted. Any action adopted would take effect sixty (60) days after passage. The Temporary Delegate Selection Committee shall disband following the 2010 Republican National Committee Summer Meeting.

Republican National Committee Rules, Adopted 2008

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