By Erick Erickson
Reince Priebus was unappreciated as Chairman of the RNC by many on the right and often blamed for things not in his control. I know him to be a very good guy and think he was placed in a thankless position as Chief of Staff to the President and then not allowed to actually be the chief. I also know he is sincere in his faith and, of the various chiefs of staff of Presidents in the last few decades, he is probably the most sincere in his faith in a very long time.
Nonetheless, two White House sources tell me Reince Priebus’s departure is imminent. The President would like to land Reince somewhere still in government, but regardless has decided to move on. I was not told who the replacement is or even that the President has settled on a replacement. It will not be, despite some rumors, Steve Bannon. One name circulating in the media is lobbyist David Urban, who once served as Chief of Staff to Arlen Specter. Choosing Urban would be bringing the swamp into the White House instead of draining it.
Reince Priebus revived the RNC. He restored its fiscal footing. He dove deep into technological upgrades. He was not successful at pushing aside all the consultant corruption within the GOP campaign machine, but he did his best. He was very open with grassroots and he has always been willing to engage with his critics. I have seen that first hand at several RedState Gatherings.
I like Reince. Many if not most of my conservative friends do not. But Reince always struck me as more with us than against us and in a position to help where he could. I wish he had been able to actually be the Chief of Staff in practice. I suspect the White House would be less chaotic.
I also fear that with his imminent departure, his replacement may actually try to shield the President from consistently conservative voices. Though Reince was accused of that, the impression I have is that he worked to connect the President to conservatives.