Rep. Marsha Blackburn's Conference Chairman Announcement

The following letter was sent by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.) to her House Republican colleagues announcing her run for Republican Conference chairman.

November 8, 2006

Dear Colleague,

Last night’s election results were a disappointment to our Party, but they were not a repudiation of our core principles. I know that all of us are pained at the defeat of respected colleagues, and it is imperative that we take time to reflect, listen, and learn from the election results.

Today I am calling those of our colleagues who were defeated to ask them what our Conference could have done better to help them retain their seat. Clearly we must make changes to ensure that our vision for America is being effectively communicated. We must incorporate the thoughts and concerns of all our members in our messaging strategies and create a long-term plan for effectively articulating our vision for the nation.

No one knows better than our Members what issues are resonating outside the Beltway. It is a strength of the House, the people’s House, that we are known as the body most closely in communication with Americans. Some have not always recognized that fact and used this unique strength of ours in message development.

In order to improve our message development and deployment we need Members directly involved. I believe Members ought to speak first at our weekly Conference meetings, not last. Our first and foremost order of business must be to defend and support House Republicans, and do it aggressively. We all know the Conference must evolve and function more like a marketing firm serving a diverse client base — our Members.

In the days ahead I will be sharing my thoughts with you on ways I feel we can improve our Conference. I have more than twenty-five years of experience in marketing and sales, and over the past year since our January leadership elections, I have given a great deal of thought as to how best to address some of the weaknesses in our messaging development. We must correct our course and better sell our vision, and I hope to work with you to do that.

My Best,

Marsha Blackburn
Member of Congress