An Email from the Grandson of a Former RNC Chair:
Yesterday, the Rude Pundit wrote about former Republican National Committee chair Mary Louise Smith, who was on the board of Planned Parenthood when she was named by Richard Nixon to head the RNC in 1974. The point was about how very mad the Republican Party has become.
Today, he received this email (offered with minimal edits and no commentary):
"Mary Louise Smith, who in addition to being former GOP chairman, was also my grandma.
"I met Senator Barack Obama in 2008 on a campaign stop here in [my city]. I introduced myself as an 'Obamican' (I have stayed a registered Republican out of loyalty to Grandma Smith, though I haven't voted GOP in years). He said, 'I love you, brother!'
"When I told him about the family connection, he correctly remarked that she led a very different Republican party at that time. It would be inconceivable in present day to imagine a Republican president and national GOP chair who were both pro-choice, but that was the case when Grandma served under Gerald Ford.
"There's a great photo on the cover of the book Republican Women:
"It shows Mary Louise Smith sitting at a GOP convention, probably holding the Iowa banner, and Ronald Reagan is leaning forward from behind. Their positions symbolize their place within the party at that moment - she's still the standard bearer, but he's coming fast from up behind. Grandma has this sort of wary look on her face, as if she had a sense that he represents a movement that would soon take over the reins and push her out of even being an Iowa GOP delegate. (In '88, she made it into the national convention on a borrowed press pass.)
"Up until she died in 1997, she held out hope that the party would move back towards the center again, and in her memory I hope that, too, but I don't see much leadership pointing in that direction. Maybe if the Tea Party breaks off and takes the God squad loonies with them; otherwise, I'm afraid it shall be what it is today."
And it's signed by Robert Smith.