Indeed, the RGA falling slightly short of expectations runs counter to the praise and acclaim that the organization and its chairman, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, received before the election. After all, the RGA spent more than $100 million (versus the DGA’s $50 million), and it provided much of the party’s get-out-the-vote operation (given the Republican National Committee’s financial woes).
Those feats — in addition to his handling of Hurricane Katrina and his tenure as RNC chair in 1994, when the Republicans won back control of Congress — helped place Barbour firmly on the field of possible GOP presidential contenders. And now Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who will be the GOP governors group’s next chairman, told Politico that RGA Executive Director Nick Ayers should be the RNC’s next chairman.