Skip to comments.GOP Governors Push for 2010 Party Rebirth
Posted on 11/20/2009 7:27:03 AM PST by markomalley
Thrilled with twin victories this month, Republican governors are looking to lead a party-wide resurgence in 2010 and shape the GOP for years to come.
Republicans boast of a strong crop of gubernatorial candidates who could be future party leaders, $25 million in the bank a year before the elections and a difficult environment for Democrats, particularly in financially ailing swing-voting states like Ohio and Iowa.
"Next year's going to be a good year for Republican governors," predicted Haley Barbour, Mississippi's governor and chairman of the Republican Governors Association. "In states where there are Republican governors, people can see if conservative and Republican ideas, when actually implemented, work."
Yet, Republicans face a Democratic Party that holds more states and is led by a proven fundraiser in President Barack Obama. There's no certainty that the landscape will continue to tilt toward the GOP a year from now or that a party plagued by infighting and lacking a standard-bearer will find a winning message by then.
More than control of statehouses is at stake. Governors elected in 2010 will be instrumental in redrawing congressional and legislative districts. And they will lay the foundation in important states for the 2012 presidential race when Obama is expected to run for re-election.
Republican governors and gubernatorial candidates met this week outside of Austin to plot strategy. On hand were possible presidential candidates like Barbour and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota as well as Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitch Daniels of Indiana. Govs.-elect Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Chris Christie of New Jersey attended, as did the GOP's top recruits for 2010 races, including John Kasich, a former congressman, in Ohio and Attorney General Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.
Mindful of polls showing voters fearful of the economy and angry at Washington for budget-busting spending, Republicans honed a message of fiscal discipline and job creation.
They also dissected victories in Democratic-held New Jersey and Virginia this month. The wins were due in no small part to the flight of independents toward the GOP as well as an emphasis on pocketbook issues and the candidates' aggressive use of the Internet to reach voters.
Republicans hope for big wins in 2010 and also that governors elected next fall will become a collective catalyst for a rebirth after disastrous back-to-back national elections in 2006 and 2008.
There's precedent for governors leading the charge in mending devastated parties, and for governorships being a training ground for a party's next crop of national leaders.
Republicans were wiped out in 1964 when Barry Goldwater carried only Southern states. But two years later, Republicans rebounded. The GOP made its biggest gains in gubernatorial races, picking up eight states in a class of 1966 that included such up-and-comers as Ronald Reagan in California. The GOP was soundly beaten again in 1976 but 1978 saw Republicans gain six states, and after the big Democratic wins in 1992, the GOP picked up 10 states in 1994.
Conversely, Democrats were demoralized after Reagan's presidential win in 1980. A resurgence began two years later when Democrats gained seven governorships, a class filled with state leaders who would shape Democratic politics for a generation, including Bill Clinton in Arkansas, Michael Dukakis in Massachusetts and Mario Cuomo in New York.
Now, Republicans control 22 states, and will take charge of New Jersey and Virginia in January.
Voters will choose 37 governors next November, and 21 seats are open. Most are competitive.
At this point, the environment points to Republican gains. "Our goal for next year is to get appreciably above a majority," Barbour said.
The GOP is expected to pick up Democratic-held seats in at least two states John McCain won last fall. In Tennessee, Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is retiring with no obvious successor. And in Kansas, Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson is stepping down after filling the post when Obama chose Kathleen Sebelius as his Health and Human Services secretary; Sen. Sam Brownback is the GOP candidate and is widely expected to win.
Elsewhere, Republicans are targeting Democratic Govs. Bill Ritter in Colorado, Chet Culver in Iowa, Ted Strickland in Ohio -- three critical swing-voting states -- and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts. They're also making aggressive plays for open Democratic-held seats in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, among others.
Democrats, conversely, are looking to pick up GOP-controlled seats in Arizona and Nevada, and Republican-held open seats in Florida, California, Minnesota, Vermont, Rhode Island and Hawaii.
Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster, said gubernatorial candidates -- unlike Senate and House candidates -- have a chance to rebuild the GOP's image as a party that delivers more efficient and effective government.
"It's an opportunity for us to re-establish our party as the party of solutions that work," Goeas said.
Democrats scoff at the notion of governors leading a GOP rebound.
"This Republican Party lacks vision. This Republican Party wants to go back to what voters rejected," said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. "In the war of ideas, we will win."
I just worry that they’ll take the Dems coming drubbing as a sign to go back to country-clubbing as usual.
Democrats gave the voters what they wanted????? They lied through their teeth and will be run out of town. Already, over 15% of those that voted for the President are changing sides and that’s only Democrats. Independents are leaving by the droves.
Total BS, Democrats NEVER run on ideas. They always run on a combination of demography, name calling and shameless pandering. 2010 will be no different because they know on the battle field of ideas, their ideological outlook loses.
me too! They are the same old people suddenly deciding they are going to change the GOP because they see the wind blowing a new direction
We need to MARCH ON GOP HEADQUARTERS
“I just worry that theyll take the Dems coming drubbing as a sign to go back to country-clubbing as usual.”
You can count on it.
Politicians, in general, are vile, self-serving animals.
I just worry that theyll take the Dems coming drubbing as a sign to go back to country-clubbing as usual.
That is exactly why we argue for a conservative third party with voice. It would be an external force outside the DC cabal (Demo and Repub). It would be clear voice for the responsibilities of freemen uninhibited by the political conciliation of re-election. It would drive the public forum back to the reason of conservatism.
And of course we as citizen taxpayers would still vote and think independently, which now every political analysis is admitting is the critical force anyway ("independents").
John McCain was a planned NWO red herring. Whether he knew it or not I've always been curious.
Of course he knew it! As you said, it was a planned NWO move that was supposed to occur in 2000. They have been seething ever since, laying the groundwork to ensure there would be no screw ups in 2008.
If Republicans continue embracing the ideas of "Democrat lite" which has dominated their words and actions of the last few years, Daschle is correct! Democrats will always win in the arena of willingness to openly promise more government goodies and larger government!
Now, if Republicans want to win elections from this point on, they must go back to America's founding principles, love them, and articulate them. Those ideas are just as revolutionary as they were in 1776 and 1787, and they can be simply stated.
Jefferson's First Inaugural summarized them:
"Still one thing more, fellow-citizens - a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities." - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural
Then, these words:
"These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety." - Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural)
Where are the Republicans willing to expose the youth of this country to the revolutionary ideas which would make them free? Somebody needs to step forward, study, and begin speaking out for "peace, liberty, and safety!
I'd add some spine and gonads to that recipe.
Republican governors had better spend the next year getting ready to protect polling places and watch voting machines.
I like what the Republican governors are doing. The energy has to come from the states, because I don't trust the RNC or Pubbies in the House and Senate, i.e. the Washingtonian Republicans.
Message to the GOP:
Send up Conservative, patriot Americans who will return the country to its Constitutional path and founders’ wisdom, and we will support the GOP. People with military experience; people who have actually RUN businesses; with demonstrated leadership skills and a clear, AMERICAN vision that supports American interests first - and tells the rest of the world to STFU.
Send us another Douchebag Scozzafava, McCain, Specter, et. al., or any other RINO and lambaste us for NOT supporting them, and we will tell them where to put their “collective” heads, followed by a giant middle finger salute.
I will WRITE-IN my candidate of choice, if no clear Conservative choice is given.
I will not waste my vote on someone who supports Conservatives “80%” of the time; that means they support the Dems 20% of the time - and who know WHEN/WHAT that 20% could be - usually, it’s at a seriously devastating point.
“Moderate” is another word for lacking SPINE to stand on principle. We already KNOW the Dems are the enemy - why furhter endanger ourselves with Turncoats?
No more RINOs. Not now, Not Ever.
Plenty time later to add backbone and spine. First we have to get elected. It is impossible to pass legislation when you are not in congress or white house.
At this stage of the game, I would not require a person to have previously run a business. If the person had a fundamental understanding of Conservatism, that would be enough for me. If the person could articulate the message, that would be better than 99% of our Congresscritters can do today.
I am unwilling to be Charlie Brown to the RINO Lucy and her football any more.
As other FReepers have expressed in numerous threads, I don't care for this "qualified" stuff, especially the idea that elected office time is a requirement. The Founders set up a system designed not only to discourage career pols, but one where quite literally, ANYONE could become a Member of Congress, even the president, so long as he complies with the Constitution's age and residence requirements, natural-born for president. It is the reason there is no occupation or education requirement listed. Bugs me no end to have those oh-so-elitists talking-heads determining just who is *good enough* to lead this nation and who is not.
I agree with you. I still understand the call for someone to have a business background. It’s that business background that would cause one to be very careful about implementing regulation and taxation that could hurt our economy.
These lawyer types we have today, screw business interests every chance they get. It’s mostly out of ignorance. Some of it is just leftist in nature.
I agree with you overall though, if someone is well grounded in the Constitution, the business concerns will by and large be taken care of.
“...I am unwilling to be Charlie Brown to the RINO Lucy and her football any more...”