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RNC Winter Meeting Wrap-Up

Close but no cee-gar.

I correctly predicted Friday morning in Silver State Confidential that RNC Chairman Michael Steele would not win re-election on Friday and drop out at the third ballot…which was accurate. However, I picked Saul Anuzis to go all the way to the gold, but he placed and only brought home the silver.

The new RNC chairman is Reince Priebus of Wisconsin…which certainly would put a smile on the face of late Nevada Republican National Committeeman Tom “Big Dog” Weisner who was a huge Wisconsin Badger fan.

The big winner in yesterday’s election was Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour – who held Priebus’ seat back in the 90s when the Democrats last held the White House. Barbour remains hugely popular among committee members and GOP pros and having his hand-picked guy in the top slot certainly won’t hurt his chances should he seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, as many believe is in the cards.

The big loser was House Speaker John Boehner who pulled out all the stops to elect his favorite, and the favorite of the Karl Rove/establishment wing of the party, Maria Cino. Cino faded at the end despite having Steele throw his support to her camp when he withdrew in the third round.

Also a winner is the RNC election was Nevada itself. Both Chairman Mark Amodei and National Committeeman Bob List backed the eventual winner. National Committeewoman Heidi Smith was a supporter of the runner-up. Good to have friends in high places.

But Nevada also won big at the meeting on another front completely unrelated to the chairman’s election.

On Friday morning at the regional breakfast, Nevada was awarded the 2011 Western States Republican Leadership Conference. It’ll be the first time Nevada will host the WSRLC since 1995. It will likely again be held in Las Vegas this September or October.

Since Nevada is one of the four approved early presidential nominating states, there’s a good chance the conference will include both a presidential candidate debate/forum, as well as a straw poll. OUTSTANDING opportunity for the Nevada GOP to gets its “groove” back in time for the crucial 2012 elections.

Now if only John Ensign would cooperate and go away.