Following the 2012 election, I ran into two key operatives with the Iowa Obama campaign on two different occasions. The Republican in me was disappointed with the outcome of the presidential election; the operative in me couldn't help but admire the Obama turnout effort.
I complemented both people on the political apparatus of the Obama campaign. Though it was two separate conversations, both people responded in exactly the same way: "We had a great candidate."
With all the hubbub this week over the Republican National Committee's report on improving the electoral chances of Republicans, it's important to remember: political organizations provide the apparatus for winning elections; candidates provide the messaging and the issues.
I thought of those conversations today when reading two separate articles in Politico that both happen to mention the same candidates as the party leaders of the future: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.
That doesn't mean that the apparatus can't be fixed--fewer debates: yes, please! More outreach? Much needed.
But it's current office holders and future candidates that will provide the national branding for the party. Why? Because they've been successful. Success influences the direction of a political party, not committee meetings.