We don’t need to change the GOP but we do need a few tactical changes and realizations.
1. The conservative media needs to tell people what’s going on instead of what we want to hear. The conservative media was GOPravda this time out and was embarrassed with their idiotic predictions of a Romney landslide.
2. The Dems have the foreign policy advantage. Whoever the idiot from the Romney camp was who agreed to have the last debate on foreign policy should have been canned. Dan Senor and John Bolton from Romney’s team and the usual suspects at the Weekly Standard kept beating the drums–Syria! Iran! It’s 1939!– but we’re not listening. It’s not 2002 and 2004. The GOP’s reputation on fiscal issues (it’ll pay for itself!) and foreign policy (cakewalk and steets named after W!) advantage were casualties of Iraq. We’re not going Ron Paul’s route–but we’re not going John Bolton’s either.
3. Ground games are still needed. I’m voting in every primary and general. The only calls I got and knocks on my door were from local GOP candidates. You need more than tv buys and emails.
4. Past presidents. More than half of the nation could not vote for Ronald Reagan. Stop comparing yourself to him and start telling us what you’re going to do. It’s a lesson the Dems had to learn after FDR died. Just saying you’re a “Ronald Reagan Republican” is not enough. Americans still think W was a bad president and think Clinton was a good one. W and Cheney were not at the convention for a reason. We attacked Obama for blaming the economy and fiscal problems on W as unpresidential–and of course we’ve been bashing Jimmy Carter for years. W is going to be a problem for us for a few more years.
5. Stop the next man up mentality. We nominate the next guy on the escalator, the guy who ran before–Dole, Romney, McCain, Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Dewey. The only time we didn’t was when we put up the Crown Prince in 2000, a war hero in 52 and two outside the box choices in Goldwater and Wilkie. That leaves us with Santorum (who I voted for in the primary) or Crown Prince Jeb in 2016. Both good men. Both hard to see winning in 2016. Time to go outside the box again.
6. Still losing women in general, single women in particular, Hispanics and younger voters. Hmm. Apparently Paul Ryan was not the voice of Gen X and Millenials. Martinez or Rubio would have been a better fit. Maybe next time?
7. Nominate candidates who can win their states. Nuff said. Ohio and Florida were closer than Wisconsin. Maybe Rubio or Portman would have moved the needle–Ryan sure didn’t. Didn’t help Tommy Thompson either.
8. Nominate a candidate who is not a total outsider and can define himself. Romney was from Michigan and Mass–not exactly GOP territory. He is a Mormon in a party of evangelicals and Catholics. He was a businessman who did not want to talk about his record. He was a governor who did not want to talk about his record since it would have come back to healthcare. And so we got a convention featuring Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair. In other words, Obama defined Romney before Romney could define himself.
9. It’s not 2004. The map is changing. Deal with it. More Hispanics voting in Florida, good sign right? Well, no. They’re not Cubans. They’s Puerto Ricans and they’re based around I4. It’s why Grayson is back in Congress. Unemployment is low in Virginia. Military votes! They’ll back Romney! Nope. Federal civilian jobs are starting to make Virginia more like Maryland politically. We can’t win without Florida, NC and VA. Fix the holes there before we start hitting Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pa, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire. That means looking at those states with a realistic eye.
10. Figure out how to get Nevada–hint, a lot of the new voters there this past decade are not Hispanics but are exiles from California who headed over the Sierras to Reno and Carson City– and Colorado back and how to make New Mexico more competitive.