The future of Republican leadership will be determined this week by a tight-lipped group of Representatives charged with choosing who will lead them out of the political wilderness and back into the Majority.
These members were probably too busy with their own elections to notice that an obvious frontrunner emerged on the final day of campaigning.
The President of the United States chose Rep. Jim Jordan to join him on stage, on the final day before Midterm election day, to help make the closing sale for Republicans. The then-Speaker of House Paul Ryan wasn’t chosen. The then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasn’t chosen. The then-Majority Whip Steve Scalise wasn’t chosen. The President chose Jordan, calling Jordan a “champion” no less than five times during his introduction. That fact should not be viewed as a coincidence.
If Republicans in the House want to convince the American people that they should be charged with controlling the House in 2020, electing the same group who steered them from the Majority to the Minority would be a mistake. To those Republicans who interpret the Trump-Jordan alliance as a problem, and there are those that do, you are also making a mistake.
The time has come for the Trump White House and Republican Congressional leaders to finally get on the same page. The disconnect has been obvious for the last two years. Far too often in the last two years, the country saw a Republican President and a Republican-led House at odds over goals, strategies and tactics.
Any time the President wanted to be aggressive about an issue, the House Leadership wanted to punt. Immigration jumps off the page as an example, but then there’s healthcare, arguably the most important domestic issue of our time. Charged with replacing the disaster known as ObamaCare, Republican Congressional Leaders failed to deliver, after six years of promises.
Instead of being able to take an important policy victory back to their districts, Republicans watched as its Leadership constantly dithered, while not ever really knowing the true pulse of its caucus and allowed the House to get bullied by the Senate in key moments – surrendering its voice and making the Chamber look small and inconsequential by comparison.
Sick of all the false promises, voters made Republicans shed a lot of dead wood on November 6th.
The solution starts with the President and the next Minority Leader joined at the hip with shared objectives, strategies, tactics and timelines.
Republicans also need a Leadership team who recognize the popularity of the President’s message and who embrace it, publicly, in a digital frontier most of the rank-and file Members clearly do not understand. Rep. Liz Cheney was correct when she mentioned in her letter announcing a bid to be House GOP Conference Chairwoman that “we must fundamentally overhaul and modernize our House GOP communications operation.”
A Leadership team that knows how to use tools such as social media is fundamentally necessary to compete in today’s political environment. Selling your ideas in an authentic, transparent and bold fashion on these platforms is a must.
Which brings us back to Jim Jordan. Not only is Jordan aligned with the President on the major issues of the day, but he’s proving in the digital space that he can recruit an audience and go beyond the base. Jordan has over 400,000 followers across his platforms, growing every day; but more importantly, he has the most engaged Twitter account of any Republican member of Congress.
No one is the same ballpark as the President when it comes to social media dominance, but a Leadership team that knows what it’s doing on these platforms, who can command, recruit, and engage an audience should be an absolute prerequisite for the job.
On the eve of the Midterm elections, the President provided the American people a glimpse of a powerhouse combination – Trump and Jordan – who are both fighters that consistently put principle and promises over party. It is time for Republican House Members to do their part to get the White House and Congress pointing the right ships in the right directions, together, to achieve the Majority once more.
And that begins with giving Jim Jordan and a new leadership team the opportunity to deliver on the President’s agenda, together with President Trump.
President Trump and Rep. Jim Jordan at a Cleveland, Ohio campaign rally, November 5, 2018