"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." – Peter F. Drucker, Management Expert and Author
The lead political story over the past week was the apparent schism in the Republican Party over the leadership of the Chairman of the Republican Party of New Hampshire. Jack Kimball was elected in January on the wings of the high flying Tea Party movement supported by others who agreed with the Tea Party philosophy of smaller government with less spending, lower taxes and less business regulation.
As a member of the Republican State Committee for a number of years, I did not vote for Jack in January. He is a decent man and a successful businessman and supports the goals of the Republican Party. But he had never been involved with the party at any time prior to his run for governor or his campaign to be elected state party chair. He had never been a member of the party leadership structure. He had never run to be a member of the state committee or even participated in a county party committee. His experience was solely as a businessman.
His knowledge of how the state party operated, the intricate art of political fund raising, and what needed to be done by the chair was, in my view, completely lacking. As successful as he was in the private sector, he was in my mind not qualified to be the state chairman. So I voted for his opponent who was the chair of the Coos County Republican Committee and had been a member of the NH State Republican Committee’s Executive Committee for many years.
My evaluation proved to be correct. Kimball’s tenure has left much to be desired. There have been a number of faux pas committed by the chairman over the past seven months that led the "old guard" party leadership to demand his removal. One of the foremost complaints was that he did not attend properly to the fund raising chore that is the primary job of the chairman.
Recognizing that complaint, he brought in Bill Binnie, who also failed to be nominated by the party to run for governor. Bill Binnie, also a self-made millionaire, had no more experience in political fund raising than Kimball. It was the blind leading the blind.
A vote on the tenure of Jack Kimball was scheduled for last Thursday night. To his credit, Jack realized that a vote of that magnitude would rupture the party at a critical time, just a few months before the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. He decided to resign and avoid that party-splitting vote. He thought more of the party than of his personal vow to fight to the end.
This episode played in the media as a fight between the establishment and the Tea Party. That was not true. There were Tea Partiers and old line Republicans on both sides. This was simply and most importantly a vote on suitability and performance. Jack Kimball was not a suitable choice for chairman. Things needed to be changed.
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Contact: ken.s+sunacom.com (replace "+" with "@")