Republicans Look to the Future

Don't be too quick to discount Republicans, despite big election losses, finger pointing, infighting and post-mortem gloom. Yes, the party is bruised, but it's not broken.

Don't be too quick to discount Republicans, despite big election losses, finger pointing, infighting and post-mortem gloom. Yes, the party is bruised, but it's not broken. And with Democrats running both the White House and Congress and no President Bush weighing them down, Republicans can use the next two years to rebuild and rebound with new faces, tested stars and a fresh, realistic and less ideologically fueled approach to fixing its tattered brand. Think of it as the Straight Talk Express with people other than John McCain driving. Here's what to look for and some people to watch:

Finding their center. Republicans will work to build the party around some common themes that are in tune with their ideology and that will sell well with the public -- fiscal conservatism in a time of trillion dollar deficits, a balance between environmental concerns and the need for economic growth, targeted job retraining, blocking defense cuts, education reform built on vouchers and teacher accountability and transparency in an age of unprecedented government intervention in the markets.

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Richard Sammon
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter