Duff: Stefanik Still Surging as Conference Chair
House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. during a town hall event hosted by House Republicans ahead of President Joe Bidens first State of the Union address – on March 1, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
By Jessie Jane Duff | Wednesday, 11 May 2022 03:44 PM
One year ago this week, the U.S. House Republican Conference made a critical decision.
They removed Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a Never Trump politician. Cheney was more focused on her own fame, and on attacking Republican voters nationally.
It became critical that Cheney be replaced with a genuine America First champion: Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.
At the time, Cheney was the root of massive distractions, resulting in disunity within the Republican caucus. She focused more on her personal vendetta against President Trump, than actual issues facing Americans.
Since taking over as conference chair, Rep. Stefanik has knocked it out of the park, with a combination of disciplined communications strategy and leadership.
She has successfully unified the Republican Conference, focused on those issues that matter to the American people, highlighted the Biden administration’s multiple crises, and has promoted other members of the conference.
When Stefanik took over as conference chair, with overwhelming support from House Republicans and President Trump, she promised to go on the offense — daily.
Instead of talking about impeachment and Jan. 6, 2021 (issues that voters and the GOP base don't care about), Stefanik has focused messaging on issues actually impacting American families.
House Democrats and Joe Biden have created multiple crises that are hurting hardworking Americans. Even The New York Times has pointed out the great job Stefanik has done, for example, by making inflation a top issue for Republicans.
Stefanik smartly saw higher prices coming as early as last year, and she has rallied the GOP to make it a key issue.
The proof is in the polling: poll after poll shows inflation as being a top concern for Americans. And poll after poll shows that American voters disapprove of the way Democrats are handling the issue.
A recent article highlighted Stefanik as having been a top messenger on the issue of inflation. As a working mom, she saw the rising cost of diapers and formula, along with the massive supply chain shortage.
In large part due to Stefanik’s instincts and messaging, this has also become a key issue for the midterm elections. She also proactively rallied Republicans to talk about Joe Biden’s crime crisis, which is making families feel less safe; his border crisis which has allowed the smuggling of dangerous drugs like illicit fentanyl, and his multiple botched foreign policy crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
Simply put, Stefanik has Republicans focused.
At last year's House Republican Conference retreat, the GOP was not unified.
If you take a look at this year's retreat, which was led by Stefanik, the story this time will be different. The conference was focused on actual policy solutions, through key task forces.
Issues like Big Tech, national security, and energy independence were addressed, and will now continue to be so.
The handwriting is on the wall.
House Republicans will flip the House of Representatives, taking control of the chamber.
Stefanik has worked closely with Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other members of the conference, to have policy solutions in-place and ready to go when Republicans take over in January 2023.
Moreover, the House Republican caucus is very happy with the job Stefanik has done while leading the conference. Freedom Caucus members have praised her efforts, "I think she’s doing a good job with the messaging for the conference," said freshman Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., "She has been good. She’s been fair," said Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.
Recently, President Trump has said he is "100 percent with Elise."
Stefanik has focused a bulk of her operation on member services. She has included numerous members in press conferences, highlighted their accomplishments, helped with booking other members' media hits, and provided talking points for the entire House Republican Conference.
On the political side, Stefanik has been a prolific fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), as well as for individual members of Congress.
She has raised millions of dollars for other Republicans. E-PAC, her Leadership PAC, which is focused on helping elect women, has endorsed over 20 new candidates, raising and donating over $700,000 during this cycle directly for Republican women.
A lot can happen in one year.
Since taking over as conference chair, Stefanik has rejuvinated Republicans and the GOP.
Last year Republicans were distracted, this year they are staying on point and on mission.
Republicans can be thankful for the strong leadership of Elise Stefanik.
Jessie Jane Duff is a Gunnery Sergeant, U.S Marine Corps retired and 2020 Trump Campaign Co-Chair Veterans for Trump.