In wake of the election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, there is no time like the present to evaluate what went wrong for the Republicans and where the Grand Ol' Party goes from here.
First, no question, we nominated the next in line and in this election, it may have been the best that could have been done.
Sen. John McCain was at the end the last man standing. There were quite a lot of Republicans that were running for president. There was from the Republican left former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani. And from the right side of the GOP, there was former senator Fred Thompson. In the center was the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney and the former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee.
In the end, Sen. McCain divided and conquered to win the Republican nod and could not do much more.
I think that the best thing that he did was chose Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. She is not going anywhere because now she is no longer under the shadow of her political godfather, Sen. McCain.
But, it was a perfect storm and everything was against them this election cycle. And yet, this is in no way a blowout by President-elect Obama. And maybe the Democrats will not get the gains in congress that they anticipated.
But, it is time for the Republican party to get serious and clean house in Washington, D. C. and throughout the states.
First, we need a new Republican National Committee chairman. I right here and now want that chair to be former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. He has been there and done that and has been out of elected politics. He would do a great job presenting the message and recruiting good candidates at all levels.
Second, time to get rid of the fossils in congressional leadership. House minority leader, John Bohener, gone. Roy Blunt, gone. Move up Eric Cantor to minority leader. bring in new blood in some young Turks such as Adam Putnam from Florida. Kevin McCarthy from here in California.
And in the senate, keep Sen Mitch McConnell in charge. But get some aggressive whips under him. He will need a united senate to keep the majority Democrats from going over the edge.
Third, get with the modern age in campaigning. We have to give it to the Obama campaign that they were not afraid to use anything at their disposal.
Fourth, is that the great Republican governors out there, led by Gov. Palin and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and Mark Sanford in South Carolina need to unite as they represent the three-stools of the Republican-conservative movement. All three are the future of the party and it is time that they take advantage of the carnage that was this election to show how to win and govern at the national level.
Fifth, we need to be much more aggressive about registering new voters and getting them to the polls. We can not keep complaining and whining that oh the unions have an unfair advantage. Or, rightfully, blame a group like ACORN. If we do not get aggressive in this regard, we will keep shrinking and not have much of a base left.
Sixth. The Republican party has a lot of people of color that can win elections. I mean black and Hispanic and Asians. But, if we do not get serious and have these people running in areas that they can win elections, like J. C. Watts did in Oklahoma in the 1990s, then we will be the party of Whitey and again we will shrink.
Most important, do not, I repeat, do not think that we need to go to the Bush family well anytime soon. It is too bad because Jeb Bush would have made a great president. But, I do not think we will see that happen anytime soon.
We have been here before. It was called the Clinton years. And, it was under the leadership of those like Newt Gingrich that led to the Republican ascendancy in 1994. And, they can do it again.
The Republican party has to be aggressive with out being offensive. And that is not always easy to do in modern politics.
But, these are some suggestions to get back to at the very least even in 2010. And we can do it.
The McCain era is gone and what he did right was introduce America to a new leader in Gov. Palin. As noted, she is not going away and will be leading the way back from the wilderness on her own.
But, we will not win another election and we should not if we try the George W. Bush big-government conservatism.
That is the overarching message of the 2008 election season.