A day after defeating Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump and his team decided it was finally time to officially swallow the R.N.C. by defenestrating chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. As I scooped at the time, their plan wasn’t fully hatched—which isn’t surprising in Trumpworld—even if names of possible successors were being bandied about. Anyway, here we are a few weeks later, and all we know is that McDaniel’s departure date is set for three weeks from now, after the South Carolina primary on February 24.
Of course, that’s a lifetime from now in Trump years: Who knows what sort of wackadoodle idea could take shape inside the former president’s brain—via Newsmax, say, or Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast—between now and then. And R.N.C. insiders are understandably worried about that vacuum of time in the middle of an election cycle. Trump and his campaign may have been pissed about McDaniel’s jejune fundraising—the R.N.C. only has $9 million in cash on hand—but forcing her to step down will likely only make donors more cautious about writing checks to a leaderless institution during the next few weeks, if not longer.