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For Nevada GOP Chairman: Patrick McNaught

As a former GOP party chairman and executive director; as someone who has been training political activists, party leaders, candidates and campaign managers all over the country for more than 15 years now; I have just a teensy-tiny bit of experience from which to draw regarding this weekend’s decision by Nevada Republicans on who should be their organization’s next Grand Imperial Pooh-bah….or put another way, the GOP’s GIP.

As I’m not a registered Republican, take this for what it’s worth, Central Committee members.

One of the lessons drummed into me as a teenager by one of my first employers was: “If you haven’t written it down, you haven’t thought it all the way through.”

To their credit, both candidates for party chairman – Patrick McNaught and Amy Tarkanian – have put on paper….well, on websites….outlines of what their plans are for rebuilding a Nevada Republican Party that has been outraised, out-organized, out-communicated, out-recruited and, frankly, out-hustled by Harry Reid’s Nevada Democrat Party for years.

Both plans are extensive. Both are detailed. Both are credible. But that brings me to another lesson drilled into me by Joe Gaylord – Newt Gingrich’s political guru – at the Campaign Management College a dozen or so years ago: “The planning is easy; the execution is hard.”

And after reading both plans and speaking with both candidates, I’ve come to the conclusion that Patrick McNaught is more likely to be successful in putting his written plan into action.

This isn’t to say a single bad thing about Amy Tarkanian. I think Amy would make an EXCELLENT legislative candidate; probably better than Patrick and her hubby combined. She’s certainly a helluva lot more charming and has exceptional people skills. But being a candidate and a party boss are two entirely different animals….which require two entirely different skill sets.

The party boss’ job is to toss out red meat and throw sharp partisan elbows. Diplomacy is far less valuable than a hard-headed, damn-the-torpedoes, take-no-prisoners mindset. After all, politics ain’t beanbags….and the Democrats, the unions, the trial lawyers and their “amen” corner in the media play hardball.

In addition, one of the unfortunate consequences of being a former party chairman is often baldness. Patrick’s already there.

Kidding aside, while I’ve pledged to work cooperatively with whomever the party elects this weekend – as long as it’s not another jackass like Captain DisComfort or SpongeBob Chairpants – I believe Patrick has the right skill set, the right philosophy, the right plan, the right ideas, the right connections…and most importantly, the ability to execute. As such, I’m personally endorsing Patrick McNaught for chairman.

Now, about that CD-2 race….