The Future of the GOP: <em>5 Predictions...</em>

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Nov 03, 2008 9:32 AM
While I am hopeful John McCain can pull this out tomorrow, it is never too early to begin thinking about the future of the Republican Party.  Even if McCain wins, the GOP faces an identity crisis.  But in crisis, there is opportunity. 

Following are my five predictions for how we get the GOP back on track:

1.  Republican politicians will make a comeback.  The GOP bench, going forward, will be deep.  It will include Romney and Huckabee (who have both been through a primary campaign), Sarah Palin (who has now been through a general election), and Bobby Jindal (who will have experience as both a congressman and as a governor).  2010 also offers opportunities.  For example, we may have a Pennsylvania governor Pat Toomey!  And don't forget Michelle Bachmann in MN...  Growing young new conservative leaders is key, and in that regard, the future is bright.

2.  Republicans will study how the Democrats re-built themselves after the 2004 elections.  Post-2004, a few things happened:  Howard Dean became Chairman and implemented a 50-state strategy, Daily Kos and MoveOn became more prominent, "insider" consultants like Carville and Begala became less important, "moderate" writers like Peter Bienart lost credibility, etc.  ... Republicans will study the '94 Revolution, as well as the Democrats' turn-around, and replicate many of the changes (which I outline below)...

3.   Republicans will elect a Powerful New GOP Chairman.  While there are some very good state chairman out there -- Katon Dawson (SC), Tina Benkiser (TX), and Saul Anuzis (MI) come to mind -- my money is on picking someone who already has a large national profile, this time around.  How about Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, or Fred Thompson?  The new GOP Chairman will be the de facto face of the GOP, so it stands to reason we need someone with the stature, the intellect, and charisma to make some dramatic changes.

4.  As the  Peggy Noonans of the world continue to age (and become more and more out-of-touch), a new generation of conservative writers and bloggers will replace them, in print and on TV.  New media will replace both the consultant world and the media world.  In short, new media will replace the Bob Shrums and the Bob Novaks.

5.  There will be an even starker difference between Republicans and Democrats.  The NRCC and NRSC will replace their moderate Chairmen.  Likewise, there will most likely be a new House Minority Leader in the future (is Speaker Cantor that far away???).  Also, assuming Republicans lose some senate seats, we should at least take solace in the fact that these are mostly moderate seats.  While we never want to lose Republican votes -- especially because of the importance of Supreme Court picks -- there is an up-side to being able to regain the GOP brand.  Meanwhile, the Dems (who could potentially control the Executive and Legislative branches) will predictably over-reach and show themselves to be too liberal for the nation.