Rich Galen
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* Now that Official Washington needs to take a breath from All-Obama-All-the-Time it has turned its attention to what will become of the Republican Party; or, more precisely who will be the New Face of the Republican Party?

* I don't know. Here's a couple of things I do know.

* Four years ago - a week after George W. Bush defeated John Kerry no one thought that Barack Obama was the New Face of the Democratic Party. If anyone was, it was Hillary Rodham Clinton's mug.

* How'd that work out?

* Here is the second thing I know. At noon on January 20, 2009 when President-elect Obama officially loses the hyphenated title, every Republican will understand how every Democrat felt exactly eight years earlier - to the second. That was when George W. Bush was sworn in for his first term joining a House of Representatives led by Speaker Dennis Hastert and a Senate led by Majority Leader Trent Lott.

* Republicans controlled everything. Democrats - especially overweight Hollywood actors - loudly announced they were leaving the country. It was the era of the PERMANENT REPUBLICAN MAJORITY!

* How'd that work out?

* Eight years, it took. Just eight years later and the overweight Hollywood actors who never left in the first place are loudly announcing they are back while the press corps is proclaiming the era of the PERMANENT DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY!

* Everyone who has ever held public office as a Republican, or has been self-identified as a "Republican Strategist" is trying to elbow their way onto Hannity & Colmes to tell us (a) Why John McCain lost, (b) What the GOP has to do now, and (c) why he or she should be proclaimed the New Face of the Republican Party to lead it back to being the PERMANENT REPUBLICAN MAJORITY!

* Both the Republican and Democratic National Committees will choose new chairmen at their winter meetings. The party committee which holds the White House will go through the motions and then will elect whoever the President asked for.

* For the party committee which is on the outs, it is much more exciting. And, it is a much better time to be Chairman.

* When you are the Chairman of the RNC or DNC during the time your party holds the Presidency, your committee is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the political office (whatever its name) of the White House.

* When you are the Chairman of the opposition party committee, you can say or do anything you want because what you say or do has no policy implications.

* Take immigration. No matter how much the RNC leadership may have hated the immigration reform package in 2007, they had to put a collective sock in it and pretend they were gloriously happy to support the White House's (and, as we are now permitted to recall, Sen. John McCain's) efforts to pass a plan which did not actually contain the word "amnesty" but neither did it actually promise to stop the flood of illegals into America.

* If the Obama-Pelosi-Reid team wants to revive something like immigration reform to pay off the Hispanic vote, the Chairman of the RNC will be not only permitted, but expected to treat such a bill like a six-year-old treats the baseball on a tee in a Little League game - close his eyes and swing as hard as he can.

* There will be, and there should be, some serious introspection by the Republican Party. What they should not do is to allow the same press corps who has been documented as being wildly partisan in favor of Obama to participate in the process.

* We have already seen Big Republican Names holding not-so-secret meetings and leaking to the press the names of the people who were there (thereby attempting to diminish the standing of those who were not) and whatever form of a Republican Manifesto the self-chosen are working on (thereby setting the rules for what will determing who is a "real Republican" and who is not.)

* At some point someone will emerge as the New Face of the Republican Party. It might be a face with which is very familiar, but as the election of President-elect Obama shows, that is probably not the way to bet.

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Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.