We’re obliged to note this report in the New York Times, though we’re not ready to take it to the bank:
[Republican Party chair Ronna Romney] McDaniel, a Michigan native, has a gilded political pedigree: She is the niece of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah and the granddaughter of George Romney, a three-term Michigan governor. She earned Mr. Trump’s trust in part by urging him to make trips to her home state during the 2016 campaign, which he credits with helping him win there.
She has told people she does not intend to seek another term after 2022, one person briefed on the discussions said, a move that could ensure her exit before the 2024 presidential cycle gets underway in earnest.
So far nobody has emerged to challenge Ms. McDaniel, but some influential Republicans are trying to stir support for Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, who has just lost his re-election bid and is well-liked among pro-Trump and Trump-skeptical Republicans alike in Washington. [Pols emphasis] Mr. Gardner did not respond to two emails inquiring whether he had any interest in the chairmanship.
In the three weeks since the 2020 election Sen. Cory Gardner and President Donald Trump both lost, Gardner’s failure to join the ever-so-slowly-growing chorus of fellow Republicans admitting the reality that Joe Biden won has stood out–even more so after being cornered in Washington long enough to accuse reporters asking if he considers Biden to be the President-elect of asking “gotcha questions.” After losing his Senate seat in no small part due to his loyalty to Trump while the voters of Colorado migrated left, Gardner’s silence is generally assumed to be in the interest of preserving his standing in the GOP long enough to land his next gig.
It’s not unreasonable to think Cory Gardner might want Ronna Romney McDaniels’ job, and as former head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Gardner undeniably has relevant experience. On the other hand, Gardner leading the Republican Party after running in both 2014 and to a lesser extent in 2020 as a contra-brand “different kind of Republican” highlighting his supposed post-partisanship is a bit whiplash-inducing for those who don’t know him well. Also, K Street pays much better.
Would Cory Gardner give the Republican Party the smooth-talking pitchman they need to move on after Trump? Or would Chairman Gardner just be another indicator that Republicans aren’t learning any lessons? This particular rumor may or may not pan out, of course, but it’s reasonable to assume Gardner won’t be immediately selling tractors in Yuma in 2021.