Tags: Trump Administration | priebus | trump | chief of staff

Priebus: Solid Conservative With Strong Contacts

Priebus: Solid Conservative With Strong Contacts

By    |   Monday, 14 November 2016 06:40 AM

The announcement Sunday that Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus would be Donald Trump's White House Chief of Staff was met with loud applause from both the Republican Party establishment nationwide and Capitol Hill.

"Reince was an excellent choice," Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif,  a solid conservative, told Newsmax shortly after Trump announced the selection of Priebus, "He was a superb RNC chairman and treated the Trump campaign fairly during the primaries when few in the party establishment did so."

"Trump sees loyalty in Priebus and someone people like [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and [House Speaker Paul] Ryan will like," said political scientist Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.

Ornstein added that putting the genial and well-liked Priebus at the helm of the White House staff "made it easier for Trump to slip [former Breitbart News chief] Steve Bannon in." Along with naming Priebus chief of staff, Trump announced Sunday he was tapping campaign chairman Bannon as senior adviser.

Priebus, 44, is the longest-serving national chairman (six years) in the GOP's history and the first national chairman of either major party to hold the position of White House chief of staff since it was created in 1953.

In addition, the former Wisconsin state party chairman is the second chief of staff who has never held any job in state or federal government. (The first was H.R. Haldeman, who spent his adult life as an advertising executive before becoming Richard Nixon's chief of staff in 1969).

But Madison lawyer Priebus' strength is less in his resume than in the widespread contacts and friendships he nurtured first as the Badger State's GOP chairman from 2007 to 2010 and as national chairman since 2010. In that year, he oversaw the Republican capture of both houses of the Badger State legislature and the election of Republican Scott Walker as governor.

As national chairman, Priebus' fundraising prowess and ability to work with disparate factions within his party won him strong loyalties among the 168-member RNC.

Virginia National Committeeman Morton Blackwell, a veteran conservative, told Newsmax that "Reince has perhaps a supermajority of the committee that will do whatever he wants."

Priebus is also the highest-positioned Greek American and, two years ago, was the subject of a profile in the oldest Greek publication, Kathemerini.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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The announcement Sunday that Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus would be Donald Trump's White House Chief of Staff was met with loud applause from both the Republican Party establishment nationwide and Capitol Hill.
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Monday, 14 November 2016 06:40 AM
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