Skip to comments.Meet Conservatism's Young Guns
Posted on 11/06/2008 4:17:01 PM PST by Josh Painter
Though the Republican Party took a beating in the recent election, there are rays of hope for the future. Some of the brightest are the Young Guns of conservatism, a group of rising political stars who have the opportunity to pick up the pieces of the GOP and provide the leadership needed to return the party to its Reagan roots. Here are eleven of the most prominent conservative Young Guns:
Sarah Palin (44) - Alaska's Governor has made it though the initiation phase of national politics thanks to having been named John McCain's running mate. Though her star doesn't shine quite so brightly now that the campaign is over (her once stellar 80%+ approval rating in Alaska is now in the mid-60s, still very positive), she made history by being the first woman to have been nominated as the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee. She has proven herself to be tough enough, taking all the abuse the Democrats, the drive-by media, the pundits and even some of her running mate's staffers could dish out and still remain standing. In fact, Palin has done little complaining about the attacks, showing that she can weather them with remarkable grace, charm and good humor (except for the inexcusable attacks on her children, which understandably angered her). She also endured two ethics investigations in her home state, both politically motivated, and still managed to emerge from the ordeal looking good. Palin was a success on the campaign trail, drawing large, enthusiastic crowds which far surpassed those seen at Joe Biden's events or even John McCain's. She has returned to Alaska to deal with the affairs of that energy-producing state. Palin will build her resume by completing the gas pipeline deal, and she will study up on foreign affairs and other issues she will need to be able to expound upon if she wants to make a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. She also needs to build her own networks, including perhaps a PAC and a campaign organization that must be ready to hit the ground running. Palin has been invited to speak at CPAC 2009.
Bobby Jindal (37) - The chief executive of Louisiana has made some history of his own as the youngest sitting governor of the United States. He won the job after serving three years in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was a member of the conservative RSC caucus. Jindal also served in the Bush administration as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. An Indian-American Catholic, Jindal took his name out of contention for consideration as a potential GOP vice presidential nominee for the 2008 election, choosing to build his own resume instead. He will also be a speaker at CPAC in February. (Lifetime ACU rating: 93.33)
Michael Steele (50) - This former lieutenant governor of Maryland is also a history-maker. He was not only the first Republican to serve as lieutenant governor of his state, but also the first African American to do so. A Catholic, Steele studied for the priesthood before getting a law degree from Georgetown. He has experience as a corporate securities associate at Cleary's offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and London. After working for Cleary, he established Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm. Steele has served as chairman of the Prince George's County Republican Central Committee, as chairman of the Maryland Republican Party and chair of GOPAC, his current job. He delivered memorable speeches at the 2004 and 2008 GOP conventions, at the latter coining the phrase, "Drill baby, drill" - a reference to the need for offshore drilling which became a familiar chant at McCain and Palin campaign rallies.
Eric Cantor (45) - A three-term U.S. congressman from Virginia, Cantor served nine years in that state's House of Delegates before winning national office. He is currently the House's chief deputy minority whip, but is currently making a run for the position of house minority whip, which Rep. Roy Blunt has announced that he intends to vacate. During his first term in office, Cantor served as Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and has also served on the House Financial Services Committee, the International Relations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. Cantor has a law degree and an advanced degree in real estate. He is the only Jewish Republican currently serving in the House. Cantor was on Sen. John McCain's list of potential vice presidential nominees before Sarah Palin was selected. Cantor was the author of the Republican alternative to the first version of the $700 billion economic bailout bill, and he was outspoken in his criticism of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her "tone of partisanship" during negotiations on the final version of the measure. (Lifetime ACU rating: 96.86)
Paul Ryan (38) - Now serving his fifth term representing the 1st congressional district of Wisconsin in the U.S. House, Ryan is the ranking minority member of the House Budget Committee and a senior member on the House Ways and Means Committee. He has a degree in economics and political science and has worked in the private sector as an economic analyst and as president of his own consulting firm. A former legislative director for Sen. Sam Brownback, Ryan also wrote speeches for William Bennett and Jack Kemp. Ryan just won his bid for re-election and will serve a sixth House term. (Lifetime ACU rating: 92.89)
Jeff Flake (46) - Flake has served in the U.S. House since 2001. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia and as the Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute. Known as one of the more libertarian House Republicans, he is a member of the Liberty Caucus. Flake has earned a reputation as one of the most vocal critics of pork and earmark federal spending. He was designated a "taxpayer superhero" by Citizens Against Government Waste and was named by that group as the least extravagant spender in Congress. A Mormon, Flake is Flake is staunchly pro-life. (Lifetime ACU rating: 95.43)
Michelle Bachmann (52) - Bachmann just won a second term in the U.S. House from Minnesota. She is a member of the Financial Services Committee. Backman is a former attorney for the U.S. Treasury Department, and she served two terms in the Minnesota State Senate. A favorite target of Democrats and liberal interest groups for being what they call a "Christian fundamentalist," Bachmann has been active in the pro-life movement. (Lifetime ACU rating: 100)
Mike Pence (47) - A four-term member of the U.S. House from Indiana, Pence serves on two powerful House committees, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary. A former chair of the conservative RSC House caucus, Pence has earned a reputation as a tax-cutter and an opponent of earmark spending. He's also a social conservative who opposed late-term abortion and federal subsidies for embryonic stem cell research. Pence has described himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." (Lifetime ACU rating: 99.43)
Thad McCotter (43) - McCotter is a U.S. congressman from Michigan. After practicing law, he won a seat as a Wayne County Commissioner in 1992. McCotter was elected to the Michigan State Senate in 1998 and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, where he has served three terms. He's a member of the House Financial Services Committee and serves as chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee. McCotter was the first GOP House member to oppose the Paulson bailout plan in September, labeling it "American socialism." A Catholic, the most notorious McCotter quote, according to liberals, is "No Good Government Denies God's Presence." He is also a strong supporter of the Iraq War. (Lifetime ACU rating: 87)
Jeb Hensarling (51) - having served in the U.S. House as a representative from Texas, Hensarling has an economics degree from Texas A&M ands a law degree from the University of Texas. He has worked for former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm and as executive director of the Republican Senatorial Committee. An entrepreneur and owner of two small businesses, Hensarling sits on the House Budget and Financial Services Committees. With a reputation as a spending hawk and a proponent of low taxes, Hensarling supports a one-year moratorium on all Congressional earmarks. He is a co-author of the Taxpayer Choice Act and introduced the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in the House. Hensarling has been mentioned as a possible successor to Eric Cantor as House Deputy Minority Whip. (Lifetime ACU rating: 98.33)
Adam Putnam (34) - Putnam was the youngest member of Congress when he was sworn in at the age of 26 in 2001. Now with three terms of House service on his resume, the Florida Representative has held minority leadership positions, chairing the House Republican Policy Committee and the House Republican Conference. He also has a seat on the House Financial Services Committee. Putnam acquired the nickname "The Elder Statesman" because of his rapid rise in the House Republican leadership despite his relatively tender years. (Lifetime ACU rating: 92.29)
Duncan D. Hunter (31) - Sharing his father's name, young Hunter now has his recently retired dad's U.S. House seat for the 52nd District of California as well. Duncan worked his way to a business degree from San Diego State by creating websites and programming databases and e-commerce systems for high tech companies. The day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001, Hunter enlisted in the U.S. Marines. After graduating from the Corps' officer candidate school, the newly-commissioned lieutenant served the first of two tours of duty in Iraq. After his return, he was honorably discharged and was promoted to the rank of Captain while in the reserves. Soon after filing to run for Congress, Hunter was recalled to active duty in the Marines and was sent to Afghanistan. He returned to campaigning after his return home and was rewarded with a victory in the 2008 elections.
Here's the link to a video FReeper Gator_that_eats_Dems produced featuring some Young Guns:
Great lineup - thanks for posting!
We need more young, attractive women.
Sorry to disappoint the wise ones, but her star shines just as brightly for me as it ever did, if not brighter. Sarah is the most exciting conservative since Reagan, period.
MM (in TX)
This is what we need. Purge the RINOs!
This is a good list. I would love to see a Jindal/Steele ticket with Palin as Secretary of the Interior (Drill, baby, drill!). I would like to see Sarah on the national stage again.
Great list, Josh. Thank you!
Read my mind. Steele/Jindal or Jindal/Steele with Palin a cabinet position. Sweet.
Smart man. Sarah is probably sorry she did not consider this strategy. Now hopefully she'll go back to Alaska and stay there.
That’s an impressive list!
And a great video!
Thanks for posting!
Our future is brighter than it may seem at the moment. We’ll be OK.
I’d love to see Rick Santorum return to Washington!
Only to the populist, redneck wing of the party. She may have one leg of the winning GOP coalition stool eating out of her hand, but no republican can win without all three legs.
We need to recruit Christine Muma of Durham, North Carolina. She is a Republican and heads up the Actual Innocence Foundation. She was named Tar Heel of the Year in 2007 and can swear in Italian. She’s smart and very, very, attractive. She ran for a state legislature seat but because she’s from Durham she didn’t have a chance to win.
Yes her star shines more brightly than before.
Look at the end.
Thank GOODNESS!! Some of them are OLDER than I’ll be in December!!! =8-p
We need more young, attractive women.Agreed, but this thread is about rising politicians, not what you and I need. ;)
Palin was the ONLY reason McCain got any conservatives to vote for him.
It’s Christine Mumma. Check out her pic here:http://www.datasages.com/portfolio/mumma/images/MummaPortrait.jpg
That’s a great list that gives us great hope for the future. If only some of these people were a bit older this year, we might have avoided the 0bamanation.
I drew an arbitrary line at age 52. Coburn is 60. He’s a fine gun, just not a very young one.
The Palin appeal is pretty much limited to the rural values voter. Good luck trying to win a general election with that coalition.
Palin has about the same chance of winning a general election as Mike Huckabee.
I agree. I am glad we have a good list of VP picks for Sarah.
As long as we purge the moderates this list is OK with me otherwise...
I think Pence is a good guy. I heard him take on the lefties a few times.
Eric Cantor, yeah.
Swear in Italian?
Tell me she is pro 2nd Amendment, and she has my vote!
At 60 he may not be a ‘Young Gun’.
Blunt To Step Down(News Conference at 11am)
cnn-live tv | 11-06-08
Posted on 11/06/2008 7:34:55 AM PST by icwhatudo
Edited on 11/06/2008 7:44:32 AM PST by Sidebar Moderator. [history]
> Blunt to step down as #2 Republican in house. Cantor to replace him
Palin vs. McCain: Palin Insider Names Names
Regular Folks United | November 6, 2008 | Kerri Houston Toloczko
Posted on 11/06/2008 10:45:00 AM PST by mbraynard
Newt Considers a Run for RNC Chairman
Digital Journal | 11/6/08 | Sherri Reese
Posted on 11/06/2008 12:42:25 PM PST by eeevil conservative
Are you kidding? I'm a pretty solid 3-legged Republican as are many of my friends and we are nuts about her. Her appeal goes WAY beyond Huckabee voters. I wouldn't consider Huck for 2 seconds but I'd follow Palin to the ends of the earth.
***Sorry to disappoint the wise ones, but her star shines just as brightly for me as it ever did, if not brighter. Sarah is the most exciting conservative since Reagan, period.***
You are not alone. She is PHENOMENAL
>I drew an an arbitary line at age 52. Coburn is 60. He’s a fine gun, just not a very young one.<
LOL! That depends on which end of life you’re looking from. To me 60 is still very young. Heck, Duncan L. Hunter is only 61, and he comes with a vast store of experience and qualifications.
At 52 they are barely dry behind the ears. :)
for me too!
either works for me:)
See my post #36.
not true. she brings the reform/small government, strong military, and probably the fiscal leg too. I am not aware of her total history up there fiscally, but I know she reworked the oil contracts and sent money back to the people. Sounds like the right track to me.
Pardon my ignorance but what are the three legs for being a Republican?
Thanks, that is a very good list. Some of these good people I have not heard about before. Some good information on here. Will be keeping this list and probably adding to it.
That's what you whippersnappers think, huh? LOL!!
OK, not young, but his star has been rising because his values are so exceptional. He is a stickler for economic integrity in the Senate and Congress.
Right, someone who repeatedly blames the financial crisis on "greed and corruption on wall street" and fails to metion Fannie and Freddie is really a small government conservative.
And if you think she's a fiscal conservative, you've got a thing or two to learn about the way the budget works in Alaska with its royalty revenue slush fund.
What may be a viable idea is to form a PAC for the “Young Turks” on the list (and those not yet on the list). A PAC that could provide the funding and internet resources to get the “youngsters” names, faces, and ideas out to the greater electorate. The problem that Sarah faced was that she was little known outside of Alaska and fora such as FR. We had to introduce her the American public late in the game. If she had been in the public eye sooner, we could have had a well-formed public image set in place and more of the populace would have been familiar with her.
Many of us are very conservative.
I'm 5 years older than Coburn.
bump for later notation.
We need more, younger, attractive men, women of all races, ethnic backgrounds.
I say “we” as a conservative since I’m not a Republican.
As long as they uphold conservative ideals, I could give two squirts whether they are Indian, female, male, Asian, African American, etc.
The GOP party looks white and it looks old. I’m sure people will hammer me for that, but them are the facts.
Jindal - Palin or Jindal - Ryan in 2012.
Yeah, like the redneck, populists here in central NJ. Please take your Murtha garbage elsewhere.
Alaska is a state that was built upon its natural resources which belong to all Alaskans, it sure would be a shame to give some of the profit back to the people of the state, right? Please.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.