*** What's next Grand Old Party: It's hard not to look at the map -- particularly in the House -- and not view the GOP as a regional party right now. If it weren’t for the party's relative strength in the South, the party would be in even worse shape. Later this week, as the party deconstructs this election, the recriminations will begin. Who will emerge as the next group of leaders? Mitch McConnell survived re-election, but will he survive any leadership challenge? What about House GOP leader John Boehner? No doubt he'll be challenged. Still, will McConnell and Boehner be the true leaders of the minority party? There will be a spirited race for the RNC chairmanship. State chairs from Michigan and South Carolina will run as will some former governor, maybe even Newt Gingrich. A group of current and former governors will also get together and attempt to have a say in the party. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana even has an Iowa visit planned later this month; Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Jeb Bush could all also play roles. As will Mark Sanford and Haley Barbour. Bottom line, there is a massive leadership vacuum inside the Republican Party and there are no shortage of candidates who will attempt to fill that vacuum. The first thing to watch for: Will the fight be to do this from inside the RNC or will there be a DLC-like organization that emerges from the outside?I know I shouldn't say this, especially the day after America elected its first ever black President, but I don't think they would ever elect a Mormon President. I hate to say it, but I believe it's true. While this country has prided itself on looking at people and not seeing race, even though it has become more "enlightened," anti-religious fervor has increased--especially among the militant secularists on the left.
*** Some first clues: NBC-WSJ GOP pollster Neil Newhouse did a post-election survey last night, and here's what he found: Just 12% of those surveyed believed Palin should be the GOP's new leader; instead 29% of voters said Romney, followed by 20% who say Huckabee. Among GOPers, it was Romney 33%, Huckabee 20% and Palin 18%. Look for more from this survey later today.
Anti-religion (along with agism) is one of the acceptable bigotries of liberalism.
For this reason, if I were calling the shots, I would make Romney the new RNC chairman. I think he could galvanize the entire party and put us in a position to take back seats in 2010 and win the White House in 2012. Plus, and this is just my gut feeling, I don't think Romney wants to run for President again.
Also, like my brother told me last night, Newt Gingrich needs to be more involved in shaping the direction of the party. He is wicked smart.
How about a little Back to the Future--Spirit of '94 in 2010, anyone?
I would feel very good about a team of Gingrich, Romney, & Rove running the RNC.
One last thing: We may very well see another Mormon run, but my guess is that it will be John Huntsman Jr. who will be just concluding his second term as Governor of Utah.
UPDATE 5:51pm BST: Ben T. responds:
The fact that you're still looking for people other than Mitt Romney to blame for Mitt Romney's loss is scary. The guy ran a poor campaign, and was consistently incapable of connecting to people due to his total lack of self awareness. The bias this country had against black people went, and still goes far deeper (in some circles) than any other. For a church with 7 million members domestically (roughly?), thinking that the political establishment actively keeps us out of politics is so narcissistic. Particularly when you consider the number of military brass, CIA, FBI, and other federal agencies whose upper echelons are traditionally stacked with members of the Church. If either party fields a candidate who is a member of the Church who can communicate, raise money, and build alliances within a party - like Jon Huntsman Jr. - they will face opposition on partisan lines like any other but it will not bring them down (or up) solely because of their faith.I agree, Romney certainly didn't run the best campaign. But it was clear that some voters had a problem with Romney's Mormonism. I don't think anyone taking an objective view of the exit poll data would disagree with that.
It's not that I think the political establishment (whatever that is) 'keeps Mormons down,' I just don't think a majority of the electorate would ever vote for a Mormon. Granted, the numbers cited above by First Read are encouraging, but they are from people who voted for McCain. I remain skeptical.
If Obama's win isn't a repudiation of all the racist theories about this country, I don't know what is. Exit poll data strongly backs that up. McCain's age played a far larger role in people's decision than did Obama's race. This ought to signal the death of affirmative action in all its forms.
Discrimination against people of religion in this country gets far less play because of the MSM's obsession with racial differences. By and large the press is irreligious--in some cases outright hostile. It's why racists are bigots (justifiably so) and anti-Mormons (or anti-Jew, -Catholic, -Evangelical, whatever) have "legitimate" objections.
Though I disagree, I do appreciate Ben T.'s optimistically open-minded view.
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