Ronna Maddow

Ronna McDaniel
Like many D.C. hustlers before her, McDaniel determined that the fastest and most lucrative path back to mainstream legitimacy was through the green room. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
March 22, 2024

In early March, about one week before stepping down as the embattled chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna Romney McDaniel decided it was time to get a talent agent. For months, Trump and his allies had been waging an intense pressure campaign to eject McDaniel from her seat, both because they wanted a more loyal and sycophantic party chair, and because it was easier to blame her, as opposed to the former president and his exorbitant legal entanglements, for the party’s financial and ballot box woes. 

In many ways, of course, McDaniel had been loyal to Trump—very publicly aligning herself with his MAGA nonsense over her own uncle’s more measured, Bain-by-way-of-Brigham Young philosophy. To wit: McDaniel bent the G.O.P.’s agenda and finances to Trump’s whims; she advanced doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election; and, most memorably, she even stopped using her maiden name at the former president’s behest. Alas, all this still fell short of the requisite obsequiousness, and she was thus forced to make way for Trump’s own daughter-in-law, Lara, a more outspoken election denier who is now trying to use the committee as a slush fund for Trump’s legal bills.