- The Washington Times - Monday, December 12, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to select Ronna Romney McDaniel as the next chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, according to multiple reports.

Ms. McDaniel, the niece of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, currently serves as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.

Her selection to run the RNC would help smooth relations with the Republican establishment if, as expected, Mr. Trump passes over Mr. Romney to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Mr. Trump took to Twitter on Monday evening to say that the secretary of state announcement would come Tuesday morning.

A McDaniel pick also would help cement the GOP flag that Mr. Trump planted in Michigan.

“After Trump did so well in the Rust Belt it would make a lot of sense to pick a strong state chairman from Michigan — a state that we had not won since 1984 — to capitalize on that opportunity and to keep the right political focus on the needs of those votes and make sure the administration is responsive to the needs of those voters,” said Henry Barbour, a member of the RNC from Mississippi.

He said Ms. McDaniel would do a good job.

“She is strong, she is articulate, bright and likeable,” said Mr. Barbour.

RNC members will need to ratify her appointment as chairwoman at their January meeting, but members traditionally honor the choice of the incoming president.

“Whomever the president-elect wants to be the next chairman, we are all going to rally around them,” said Bruce Ash, an RNC member from Arizona.

He applauded the anticipated pick of Ms. McDaniel.

“The members have a lot of respect for her. Her and the whole Michigan GOP team really pulled of a great win for Donald Trump in Michigan, and if you are looking for somebody who has respect from a lot of members she certainly does,” said Mr. Ash.

Ms. McDaniel appeared Friday night at Mr. Trump’s “thank you” rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she touted his upset victory in the Great Lakes State.

“They said a Republican could never win Michigan. I knew better, you knew better, and Donald Trump knew better. We all know — never underestimate Michigan,” she said.

Ms. McDaniel would succeed Reince Priebus, who Mr. Trump tapped for White House chief of staff.

In other transition news, Mr. Trump announced Monday that he would appoint Goldman Sachs President Gary D. Cohn as his chief economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Cohn would be able to put his renowned business know-how to work for the American people.

“He will help craft economic policies that will grow wages for our workers, stop the exodus of jobs overseas and create many great new opportunities for Americans who have been struggling,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “He fully understands the economy and will use all of his vast knowledge and experience to make sure the American people start winning again.”

The appointment was expected to draw criticism for adding another wealthy businessman and Wall Street mogul to Mr. Trump’s inner circle.

Mr. Cohn, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer at the Wall Street powerhouse, said it is a “great honor” to be selected for a post in the Trump administration.

“I share President-elect Trump’s vision of making sure every American worker has a secure place in a thriving economy, and we will be completely committed to building a nation of strength, growth and prosperity,” he said in a statement provided by the Trump transition team.

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