Reince Priebus was in Newport four years ago for the Romney campaign. I liked everything he had to say. Here’s what I wrote to you then about his speech that evening.
“Reince said you get a name like his when a German and a Greek get married. But not to worry—his kids have normal names. He talked about growing up in a Greek family, saying that it was just like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Looking at his phone, he said that his mother could be calling him right now.
Reince talked about growing up and how much he loved his grandfather or papous (pah-POOH) in Greek. He said he doesn’t know what it is about grandsons loving their grandfathers so much, but as a kid he would follow his papous everywhere. And because they spent months at a time together in Greece or America, they were very close.
Papous’s favorite thing to do would be to look over the Encyclopedia Britannica, take out the book with the letter “P” on the binding, and read to Reince about the presidents of the United States. He would tell Reince stories about every single president—“Some true,” said Reince, “and maybe some not so true, but they were great stories.” He said Papous did it because he loved America and what America stood for.
Reince commented on the current situation in Greece. He said it’s what happens when the “takers” of society take over a country. He said when you’re a taker, you become irrational. Right now, Greece is a country of irrational takers.
Rational conservative principles can take you a long way in this country. Reince said it takes time, though, and a real grassroots effort. He said he and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, his best friend, got started at least 10 years ago when Scott was a Milwaukee County executive. He said the reason Scott Walker is a success is that Americans at their core are conservative. He said their grassroots effort staked everything on Scott. And their winning formula for every candidate they helped and are helping is simple. First, you need to believe in conservative principles; second, you need to run on them; third, and most importantly, you need to govern by them.
With Reince at the helm, I expect a lot of good things in the future for the Republican National Committee. He understands that the Tea Party is not on board with your father’s Republican Party. He knows that you get Americans together not by asking “Are you in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?” but rather “Are you concerned about your kids’ or your grandkids’ future?” For a lot of us, that’s a big yes.
I had the great pleasure of speaking with Reince after his speech. I told him I was the guy on the Helen Glover Show at 920WHJJ right before his segment with Helen that day. On the show, he said that coming to Rhode Island will mean he’s been to all 50 states. Based on the enthusiasm he generated at the dinner, I think there will be plenty of reasons for him to return to the Ocean State real soon.”