To help it rebuild, the GOP needs a rare mix of leadership qualities. It needs a visionary who will harness technology to the party’s advantage. It needs a grounded realist who realizes that technology is not an end unto itself and that, while the party is in desperate need of a complete technological overhaul, traditional methods of communication must also be strengthened with equal vigor. The party needs a fighter. At the same time, it needs a conciliatory negotiator who will act as a voice of reason to bring its various factions together to work as one.
The various candidates for RNC Chair each bring with them many of the above aspects. But those who will be right there with them are sometimes even more important. Who we choose as Secretary of the RNC is, in a way, even more important than the chairmanship. While the Chairman will need to spend a large part of his time as the face of the GOP to the media, much of the heavy planning and strategy will go to the rest of the committee. It is with that in mind that I would urge the party to elect Sharon Day as RNC Secretary.
Before I get into Sharon Day’s personal story, her devotion to the party, her competence and her integrity, it is necessary to point out why she is one of the rare mixes of all the ingredients needed to rebuild and revitalize this party. This is an important race. After reading the following information, if you agree that she is indeed the best candidate for the job, I would encourage you to go to http://www.gop.com/Connect/States.aspx, click on your state to contact your state party (specifically your chairman and committeepeople) and urge them to support her candidacy.
To begin with, Sharon Day has been leading the fight to revamp the party’s technological outreach. “Just having been in Florida alone, we saw the great technological advantage that the Obama Campaign brought with it to the table. It became clear that we were waging a 2008 battle with 2004 technology. That has to change.” Her plan to revitalize technology includes everything from organized social networking to providing operatives and volunteers with the hands on equipment that they need. “Generally, the Obama people knew exactly where to go at all times. Our people were at a serious disadvantage due to the lack of equipment needed to coordinate with them. We must ensure that this does not happen again.”
The case that Day makes for increased technology is compelling. But that is only a small part of the picture. What makes her candidacy unique is that despite her strong advocacy to increase utilization of technology, she does not fall into the trap of believing that technology is a be all and end all unto itself. To Day, it is an important tool, but not an entire marketing plan. She agrees that the failure of the GOP to get its message out to the public must be countered by coordinating with local clubs, college groups and county executives, encouraging them to conduct media write-in campaigns and providing them with the talking points needed to set the record straight in their local areas. She recognizes that this form of outreach is key to shaping the hearts and minds of the public.
But beyond these needed strategy points, who is Sharon Day? She’s someone who possesses that rare mix of qualities, the heart of a fighter and the head of a leader. The former quality was most prominently displayed in each of the past several election cycles when she paid to have her car wrapped top to bottom and bumper to bumper for the GOP presidential nominee.
To many, that may seem to be simply a nice gesture, albeit one that shows tremendous spirit and party loyalty. But given that Sharon Day lives in Broward County, Florida, where conservatives are few (but those who are conservative are strong ones), the act of so openly displaying her support for our party was nothing short of heroic.
In 2004, many cars were keyed for simply having Bush/Cheney bumper stickers. Fortunately for Sharon, nothing happened to her car. She recounts with laughter how people would give her a thumbs down. She’d smile and return a thumbs up and they’d usually go back and forth a few times before driving off. That was in 2004. This past year was another situation entirely.
Day got her car wrapped for McCain. This time, the least she had to worry about was getting keyed. Students would jump off of bus benches and surround her car. One time when she went to fill up on gas, she was chased out of the station. She was surprised, but did she back down? No. Her car stayed wrapped until the end. She plans to do it again in 2012.
Yet she is not oblivious to the dangers. When asked, she readily acknowledges the risks. She just cares more about doing what’s right and isn’t deterred or distracted by other factors.
Day is a fighter, yet one who is conciliatory by nature. More often than not, it takes a combination of those two qualities to get the job done. Day exemplifies both such qualities. When many of her neighbors who she had given McCain bumper stickers took them off their cars amid much more minor cases of harassment than the ones she faced, they were embarrassed to tell her. Day reassured them. She didn’t look down on them, she understood where they were coming from. And without thinking twice, she simply continued to do what she felt she needed to do.
This combination of determination and an ability to work with and influence others will carry over well when it comes to taking a leading role in the party.
Day is a strong conservative. Yet she recognizes that it takes a coalition of diverse people to win. So on the one hand, she will never stop fighting for core Republican values and never abandon her principles for the sake of expediency (or for any other reason). At the same time, she is disarming and seeks to bring others to the fold through reasoning and discussion.
In other words, she’s a leader, and an effective one at that. Her high spiritedness is reserved for her own actions and for campaigns. When it comes to winning over hearts and minds, she uses the convincing but endearing Ronald Reagan approach, a strong ability to communicate that resonates well and is focused on educating others to see the inherent rightness of conservatism. For more information about Sharon Day, readers are encouraged to visit her website, www.SharonDayGOP.com.
We need to support this unique candidate. Only 168 people can vote for RNC Secretary, but we each have a voice. Go to http://www.gop.com/Connect/States.aspx and click on your state and view the contact info for your state. Then email or call your state party chairman and committeepeople. Tell them that the GOP needs a leader like Sharon Day to serve as our next RNC Secretary.