Quote of the Day – GOP Future Edition
In order to rebuild, Republicans need to identify the people who have something—good ideas, popularity, vision, and a good record. – Mark McKinnon and Jon Henke
Upon seeing the quote at InstaPundit, my initial thought was, “Duh.” Followed by, “Unfortunately, nobody comes to mind” (or words to that effect).
They proffer six candidates. Three, I’ve never heard of: Rep. Tom McClintock of California, Delegate Chris Saxman of Virginia, and Sarah Steelman of Missouri. The last two have yet to get elected to statewide, much less national office. Two I’ve heard of but know very little about: Rob Portman of Ohio and Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana. The last is a potential superstar who had an embarrassing debut on the national stage: Governor Bobby Jindal.
I’m sure there are plenty of young Republicans out there who have what it takes to rebuild the party from within over the next few years. Out-parties, especially those who have lost a couple of elections in a row, tend to find such people. But what about a plausible contender for making Barack Obama a one-term president?
Let’s dismiss the first three out-of-hand for 2012. Obama’s meteoric rise from the Illinois state senate to the White House in four years notwithstanding, these people don’t have the name recognition or organization. (Obama had already become a household name by this point in 2005.) Both Portman and Daniels have the resumes to make a credible case they could be president. Daniels says he’s not interested in running for office again and, unless he changes his mind by next Tuesday, it’s too late for him.
Portman is well regarded by young GOP insider types and U.S. Representative, Trade Representative, and OMB Director provide a very interesting experience portfolio. He’s running for the Senate and, if he wins, he could be intriguing, indeed. True, governor is a better platform than senator. But Obama was a senator and won, so it’s doable again.
Jindal is a genius, an amazingly competent executive, and has a personal story as compelling as Obama’s. He’s got some baggage, notably the weird exorcism thing, but who doesn’t? And he’s clearly toying with the idea of running. He’s going to have to get much, much better at reading a teleprompter, though, if he’s going to have a shot.