ANOTHER NCNA ‘EXPERT’…. Maybe GOP leaders are confused about the whole “rebranding” concept.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has signed on to the latest high-profile effort to re-brand the Republican Party — but don’t expect to see him take a major leadership role for the National Council for a New America, or make a starring appearance at any of the events on the group’s national tour.

Organizers of the effort, spearheaded by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, originally told reporters that Gingrich had not been included in the newly-launched group because his 527, American Solutions, was a partisan entity. (The organization describes itself as a “tri-partisan” network.)

Gingrich supporters dismissed that explanation, pointing out that Mitt Romney — a member of the NCNA’s panel of experts — headed the explicitly partisan Free and Strong America PAC, which donates to GOP candidates.

Apparently there’s some behind-the-scenes drama about Romney wanting to snub Newt. Whatever.

The more interesting angle to me is the assembled group of GOP leaders who will help “rebrand” the party. We have a 72-year-old failed presidential candidate (McCain), a failed president’s brother (Jeb Bush), another failed presidential candidate (Romney), and a disgraced former House Speaker who left office more than a decade ago after getting the boot from his own Republican caucus (Gingrich).

I’m not a marketing expert, but I was under the impression that rebranding efforts generally involved offering something (or someone) new and fresh.

To be fair, Cantor, Jindal, and Palin are part of a new generation of conservative GOP leaders, and they’re all involved in this endeavor. But when assembling high-profile figures to help get the Republican Party back on track, what genius thought it was wise to invite McCain, Bush, and Gingrich to the get-together? Maybe it was the same genius who thought it was a good idea to host the NCNA’s outside-the-Beltway event inside the Beltway. Or perhaps it was the genius who decided the American taxpayers should subsidize the entire partisan effort.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.