People often tell me that their first emotion on the night of November 7, 2006 was disappointment. Indeed, after spending many nights on the road last summer and fall, traveling around the country and seeing firsthand the enthusiasm and commitment of Republican volunteers nationwide, our loss in the House and Senate was a bitter pill to swallow. But my personal disappointment quickly gave way to resolve, and I knew that if Republicans were going to earn back the congressional majority in 2008 we would have to start the next morning.
Notice that I said “earn” back the majority. Our friends on the other side of the aisle often talked of "taking" back the House and Senate, as if it were somehow rightfully theirs by default. If there is one big lesson that stands out from our party’s time in the majority, it is this: a congressional majority is simply a means to an end. The value of a majority lies not in the chance to wield great power, but in the chance to use limited power to do great things on behalf of the American people.
Our Goal: Earn Back the Majority
Our job over the course of the next 16 months is to rebuild Americans’ confidence in Republicans’ ability to deliver a government that is limited, honest, accountable, and responsive to their needs. Starting last fall, we’ve worked to develop a strategy that will help us earn back the majority by reclaiming our position as the party of limited government and big ideas. Our strategy for success is rooted in three key principles.
One, we will be proactive, beginning with a broad and ongoing effort to communicate bold, innovative solutions rooted in our principles.
Two, we will define and contrast our solutions with their stale ideas, illustrating the very real differences between our parties and what they mean for the average American. We can’t be content to rely on Democrats’ failures. Remember, they didn’t win in November – we lost.
And three, we will hold Democrats accountable at every opportunity. Whether it is on the House floor, on the campaign trail, in the local newspaper or on the evening news, we will be aggressive and take the risks necessary to be successful.
The Strategy: Be Proactive
Republicans will be proactive on a number of fronts, particularly in terms of communicating new, innovative solutions to the American public.