Ask an average Republican voter whose endorsement holds the most weight for a candidate and the vast majority would say it’s Donald Trump’s. Even those who try to downplay Trump’s influence over the party cannot put up a more important endorsement. But Republican voters do not vote on the Chairperson of the Republican National Committee. Only their 168 members do, and for them the most important endorsement will come from someone like billionaire Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.
Why would he have more sway than even Trump when it comes to the RNC? Because Marcus not only donates a whole lot of money to the RNC and various PACs, but he also influences other GOP megadonors. So his endorsement of Harmeet Dhillon for RNC Chair over three-term incumbent Ronna Romney McDaniel may be the most consequential endorsement in a very long time.
Wow! I’m incredibly honored to have Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus’s support for RNC chair! He is one of the most prolific, loyal & important donors in the conservative movement. If elected chair, I have pledged to raise & spend donor funds with the utmost care and integrity.🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ScvAfX4ehs
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) January 11, 2023
As Marcus wrote in his letter to RNC Members:
“You have one of the most consequential decisions to make when you vote later this month for the next chair of the Republican National Committee. I am supporting Harmeet Dhillon to become the next chairwoman of the RNC because America’s path forward is at stake.
“Liberal elites have made it clear that they want to replace America’s founding principles of free market capitalism and limited government, among others, with globalist social welfare values, including big government socialism. Liberal elites seem content to manage America’s decline. I continue to believe that our best days are ahead of us unless liberal elites win the battle for America’s future. This battle will be waged not only at the ballot box but in state and federal courts, the media, the court of public opinion, our schools, and our streets.
“Harmeet Dhillon is a fighter in our courts, in the media, and elsewhere. The RNC needs someone with her real-world experience, tenacity, and toughness. Please join me in supporting Harmeet Dhillon for RNC Chairwoman.”
The 168 members of the RNC should heed Marcus’s not-so-veiled warning. He isn’t just implying that Dhillon’s experience handling media and waging lawfare are crucial for the GOP going forward, though that is clearly true. He could have easily made that argument to them directly and more effectively; all of them would take his call due to his clout among megadonors.
By putting his name behind Dhillon’s publicly, members of the RNC will hear the message loud and clear that this “most consequential decision” will impact his future funding as well. He has been vocal about needing change ever since supporting President Trump in 2016 and 2020. He has been unhappy with the ways the RNC and Mitch McConnell’s PACs have failed miserably since the 2016 election. It appears he blames McDaniel for the failures, at least in part.
Republicans have underperformed in all three election cycles since McDaniel took over as Chair.
RNC members will vote for the next Chair on January 27.