For Reince Priebus, the Republican convention in Cleveland this week could mark the beginning of his end as head of the Republican National Committee. That is no small thing, given that the completion of his current term would make him the longest-serving head of the RNC. It is an RNC whose budget, staff, operations and local and national outreach he has bolstered. He is also — conservatives need to know — a genuine conservative not afraid to defend everything from “protecting the life of the unborn” to the “two-parent family,” as he vowed when I heard him here in Cleveland this past week.
Priebus was strikingly religious in his rhetoric — unusually so, I was told by one fellow observer, a veteran reporter from a leading evangelical publication. The RNC head earnestly quoted the Old Testament and New Testament, from Isaiah to Paul. They were clearly the words of not just the good and decent man we’ve watched preside over the party of Lincoln and Reagan, but someone enduring a painful struggle, someone who — to borrow from a favorite Lincoln quotation of Reagan — seems driven to his knees by the overwhelming conviction that he has nowhere else to go. Perhaps that’s because Priebus is surely carrying the cross right now in his job unlike ever before, as he tries to hold fast to what is good and abhor what is evil (Romans 12:9).
In our cynical times, snarky secularists will chortle at the thought that such is what Priebus seeks to do as head of the RNC, but too bad. He sees it that way, and not unjustly.
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