Behind the RNC's anti-Trump revolt

Last updated on January 27, 2023

After losing both chambers of Congress during Trump’s presidency and after waging a disappointing campaign to recapture them in 2022, the Republican Party is having a lot of intra-party feuds.

This week, the post-election search for new leadership moved to the Republican National Committee. Right now, there’s no agreed-upon leader of the party, so like the recent battles in the Senate and the House, the RNC election has turned into a fight to define the GOP’s future.

And once again, Donald Trump is at the center of the debate.

Playbook co-author Rachael Bade flew to Orange County, California, to watch the fireworks at the RNC’s winter meeting, where the three-time incumbent chair Ronna McDaniel faced a challenge from conservative lawyer Harmeet Dhillon.

To understand what this fight is all about, Rachael had breakfast with Bill Palatucci, a longtime party member who is also a close ally of Chris Christie’s and a loud critic of Donald Trump.

In this week’s episode, Palatucci explains how the Dhillon-McDaniel contest isn’t just about the RNC chairmanship – it’s about who will lead the Republican Party into 2024 — and beyond — and why the GOP could languish for a very long time depending on the outcome.