Reince Priebus sets the 2016 goal for the RNC: Competence

Reince Priebus kicks off the CNN Republican debate by promising the GOP will achieve competence

By Amanda Marcotte
December 16, 2015 6:56AM (UTC)
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This photo taken Jan. 15, 2015 shows Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaking at the Republican National Committee meetings in San Diego. Republicans meeting in California have re-elected party chairman Priebus, a once little-known Wisconsin lawyer who supporters say has turned the GOP organization around. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi) (AP)

Things kicked off to an underwhelming start for the main stage debate of the CNN Republican debate Tuesday night. Republican National Committee Reince Priebus came out to warm up the crowd with an awe-inspiring speech about the party's lofty goal of achieving basic competence.

"You know a lot of people ask what does the Republican National Committee do?," he asked the bored audience. "A competent national party. A competent national party that has its act together on the ground."

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"The one thing that we all need," he continued, "and the one thing that every one of the candidates need on this stage is a competent national party. And it's something that we're all striving to do and working for every day."

To be fair to Priebus, "competence" is an elusive goal when your presidential frontrunner is Donald Trump and your politicians kicked out John Boehner because he's not nutty enough. Set your sights high, Reince. Politics is a game for dreamers, they say. Competence, she's a slippery beast, hard to get your hands around. But it's the holiday season, a time to hold out for a Christmas miracle.


Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is a senior politics writer at Salon and the author of "Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself." Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte and sign up for her biweekly politics newsletter, Standing Room Only.

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Reince Priebus Republican Debate Republican National Committee