Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Moran wants NRSC leadership role

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moran wants NRSC leadership role

Sen. Jerry Moran has only been a member of the U.S. Senate for two years, but already he's seeking a leadership role of sorts.

The junior Senator from Kansas has announced his intent to vie for the role of National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman. According to members of his staff, he has the votes to get the job.

However, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is said to be considering a challenge to Moran.

I don't know enough about the inner workings of the U.S. Senate to make a qualified call about which of the two men would best serve in the position.

The NRSC raises funds to assist in the election of Republican Senators. I *believe* they typically stay out of primaries and then drop tons of cash in critical races after the dust settles and one Republican is left standing.

According to Roll Call, a Washington-insider-y paper, Moran will consider whether the group should start jumping into primaries to select better candidates. (I'm guessing Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock losing seats Republicans were widely expected to win has something to do with the discussion.)

I personally am not a huge fan of Rob Portman. Yes, he did a bang up job preparing Gov. Romney for his first two debates. (The third, well...) But does that translate into chairing the NRSC? I don't know.

Portman is from a swing state with an iffy (and sometimes stupid) electorate. That could create special challenges for Portman as he tries to turn the U.S.S. Titanic, I mean Senate, around. Can he politically make some of the difficult decisions he may face as NRSC Chair? I don't have an answer, and honestly, I don't even know if it's a good question.

If it is a good question, I think we can safely assume that Jerry Moran at this point has a safe spot in the U.S. Senate for as long as he wants it. We kept Bob Dole there until his food had to be pre-chewed and it appears we're on track to let Sen. Pat Roberts stay just as long. If there are tough decisions to be made, Moran can make them without much backlash from Kansans. I believe that to be true.

Here's what I can say about Moran: There is still blood on the floor from his primary campaign against Todd Tiahrt. He can definitely raise money and make friends in Kansas. He's pretty personable and likeable, but can he raise funds on a grander scale? I have no idea.

The current NRSC Chair is Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. Make of that what you will. In his bio, he claims credit for 2010 gains in the Senate.

I have a very, very low opinion of the Republican members of the U.S. Senate, so I feel pretty confident that whatever decision they make, it will be the wrong one.

The vote is set for next Wednesday. Stay tuned.

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