Monday, May 11, 2009

The Battle Over the Defining Face of the New GOP

Bill Bennet favours McCain over Palin

Speaking on CNN recently, senior Republican Bill Bennet frames with unequivocal clarity the choice that lays before the National Committee for a New America, the organization providing the thrust behind the efforts to re-brand the GOP.

That choice is very simple: rebuild the party around a Palin-esque image, or rebuild the party around a McCain-esque image. No matter what Rush Limbaugh may have to say about it, not rebuilding the party at all is not an option.

With equally unequivocal clarity, Bennet also has his own preference in terms of the identity the party should pursue -- a youth-oriented moderate image, as best exemplified by Meghan McCain.

However, Bennet contends that the media isn't doing the Republican party any favours by continuing to focus on figures like Palin.

“One of the things the media could do – some of the media – is to move the debate off Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh,” Bennett said. “This is probably not the future of the Republican Party."

"It could talk about a Paul Ryan or a Mike Pence," Bennet continued. "It could talk about a Bobby Jindal. It could talk even about a John Kyl or a David Petraeus. You know, there’s a lot of talent in this party."

"I ran into Meghan McCain last night," Bennet added. "And I have to tell you, Bill, she’s refreshing, she’s honest and she’s a face that could really help them galvanize young people and independents."

Despite what the most extreme conservative ideologues seem to insist, the Republican party very much does need to be able to reach out to independents and to fiscally conservative Democrats.

Sarah Palin herself seems to understand the need to rebuild the party for the 21st century -- something that should have been taking place in 1999 as opposed to 2009 -- as suggested by her recent membership in the NCNA. However, whether Palin intends to contribute to an effort to moderate the Republican party in the interest of being politically competitive or is merely looking for another political venue in which to hang her star is another matter altogether.


  1. The GOP was desperate to find a VP candidate they thought would appeal to their bloc's female demographic, and they thought they found it in Palin. least until she started talking.

    Then it was the dem's turn to celebrate - she's the gift that keeps on giving :)

    If she does become the GOP's flagship, and eventually makes a bid for the presidency, the Mayan calendar will be right - the world ends in 2012.

  2. ...At least for the GOP, I take it?

    Palin isn't nearly as extreme as the Democrats portrayed her as. She's actually rather moderate.

    But I agree with Bill Bennet. New face of the GOP she is not.


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