We seek to identify the people and ideas that will lead the Republican Party back out of the wilderness. Topics include core conservatism, potential national leaders, constituencies that that the GOP must reach and the messages that will reach them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tom Campbell's Exploratory Committee

A Gmail ad just let me know that Tom Campbell's got an exploratory committee for CA Gov: http://www.campbell.org/?gclid=CPOXi6eP3ZgCFQ9JagodNTkCeQ.

Idea Man

Read Fred Barnes' interview with Jeb Bush in today's WSJ. Bush adamantly denies wanting to run for anything, but that's OK. He may be much more valuable as a one-man GOP brain trust. He understands, for instance, that the party not only can but must win California back. Otherwise, it will sink into irrelevance as a regional party of the Deep South (OK, it will keep Alaska, Utah and Wyoming, too). And his views on education merit respect because of his energetic efforts at reform in Florida. If he thinks Sweden has a better idea for schools, I say let's look at what the Swedes are doing.

Meg's Site Is Up

Meg Whitman has started an exploratory commitee, the first step toward running for governor of California. Her site is up. If I can pick out a main theme, it's that California is in decline and that Whitman can help bring back its lost glory. This is how older Californians (let's be blunt -- old, white, Republican Californians) tend to see the state. But I'm not so sure it will appeal to the young and, especially, the millions of immigrants who have become citizens and are now voting. I suspect the latter still see this state as a land of boundless opportunity, and they may see the theme of a state in decline as a subtle attack on them.

Historical note: Whitman's message at this point bears a strong resemblance to Pete Wilson's rather downbeat approach. He famously called California a "bad product" -- i.e., a lousy place to do business. He got elected to two terms, but at had to rely on a divisive issue, illegal immigration, to win a second term. He the California GOP much weaker as a result. There may be a cautionary tale here for Meg.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Meg Whitman Going for Gov?

Whitman announced that she's stepping down from the boards of Proctor & Gamble, eBay, and Dreamworks Animation for "personal reasons." Those reasons should turn public real soon.