Skubick: Priming Ronna Romney McDaneil for prime time

Is Ronna Romney McDaniel, the odds-on favorite to become the next state GOP party chair, primed for prime time?

Some are beginning to wonder given her decision to apparently avoid the news media, although the news hounds at the Gongwer News Service caught up with her the other day. More on that in a second.

Ms. Romney, of course, is no stranger to politics having grown up in a home where both parents were deeply involved. Mom was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate.  Dad served on the MSU Board of Trustees for a time and then there is Uncle Mitt, remember him, who ran for some office a couple of years ago.

So here comes Ms. Romney moving right along and singing a song on her way to become the third female state GOP chair in state history, but the journey has been pretty much void any extensive media contact. No news conferences and extensive TV appearances. A month or so ago, Off the Record offered a spot-on the broadcast. She promptly wrote back she'd be glad to do it after the party convention later this month. Give her credit for being willing to do that.

An email went out the other day to her campaign, wanting to know her stance on the governor's sales tax increase. The in box is still empty.

Then the other day, she attended the gig in Detroit were Jeb Bush dazzled the crowd with speculation about running for President. Since she was out in public, reporters took advantage and asked if her buddy Dave Agema should resign as Michigan's National Committeeman. He's been in and out of the news with his controversial statements about gays, Moslems and African-Americans that some within the party are crying uncle already.

If Ms. Romney McDaniel is one of them, she wouldn't say.

When asked, she turned on the fog machine, "I'm going to keep those conversations (with David) private. We're going to keep moving forward and talk about our positive message as a party," she said not once but twice while refusing the second time to reveal her stance on resignation.

You could argue that her objective is not to offend party members and taking a stance on this or that, puts her at risk of losing this race. Even though the media may not like it, some would argue it's pretty smart politics if she can pull it off.

Be clear here. Ms. Romney is under no obligation to say squat to the media. In fact, former GOP chair Ron Weiser was nearly invisible during his tenure. She is not a candidate for public office where more media exposure is the norm. Since she is courting party players, she has every right to avoid the media and deal with the delegates on her terms.

If she wins, however, the media will keep a watchful eye on how accessible she intends to be.
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