Maria Cino is a workhorse, not a show horse — and that's just what the GOP needs heading into 2012.
And before we get into her impressive list of qualifications, which include delivering actual results as opposed to merely managing to get hired or appointed to positions to list as "experience" on a résumé, I'll engage in a bit of gender bean counting: Wouldn't it be refreshing to have a woman leading the Republican National Committee for a change? I've long bristled at the RNC's rather patronizing practice of placating women by having an RNC "co-chair" who is required to be a woman. Enough of that. There are enough seriously qualified women available to fill top positions so that we no longer need to "create" special jobs for them.
Cino has a proven record working at nearly every level of politics and government, and it is virtually an impossible notion the GOP would find itself having to make excuses for gaffes, cover up ineptitude, find ways to compensate for incompetence and screw-ups or cringe when watching her on one of the Sunday morning talkfests. In fact, given what I know of Maria Cino, I think it would not be a stretch to predict she might be one of the strongest, most effective RNC chairs in a generation, right up there with the legendary Haley Barbour.
Maria Cino was a key player and enormously instrumental in the 1994 GOP takeover of the House as the executive director of the NRCC — she ran the nearly flawless 2008 convention, has been deputy director at the RNC, is known to operatives at all levels, is accessible and helpful and is widely respected in politics and government in Washington, D.C., and around the country. In short, a Chairwoman Maria Cino would undoubtedly hit the ground running, need virtually no "learning curve" and would be at full strength on day one.
There are several other impressive names on the list of GOPers thinking or planning on running for RNC chairman against current chair, Michael Steele. It is encouraging that we have such a deep bench in our party. Maria Cino is the right person to utilize all of their talents and contributions, rather than considering them enemies. If these folks can soon coalesce their support around Cino, the GOP will be better off, the Michael Steele debacle can begin the process of becoming a faded memory for the party and we will be off and running toward 2012.