Reince Priebus was just re-elected as the Republican Party's chair with only 2 dissentient votes - from the free spirits in Maine - and now pundits are asking "why?"
The party had a hellish 2012 under Priebus's uncharismatic stewardship. They lost a close presidential election, they failed to Get Out The Vote, and they lost Senate and House races that could have been won.
Curiously enough, two years ago Republicans "couldn't wait to get rid of" Michael Steele, the chairman who'd presided over "an epically great election," writes The Atlantic's Molly Ball. But Steele put the party into financial debt, and became notorious for gaffes and controversial remarks.
Why did Priebus win reelection to party chair, then? Partly because there was no realistic challenger, only an outsider candidate from Maine.
And Priebus had a simple mandate, which he fulfilled: get the party back on financial track, and don't be embarrassing. "I think he's done an excellent job," said one party member who voted for Priebus today.
Via the Atlantic.