Late last week on CBS This Morning, John McCain was asked about the eventual GOP Vice Presidential nominee. He said, jokingly, “I think it should be Sarah Palin.”
After that comment he followed up with a line about how we have great talent in the GOP and that he’s sure Romney will make the right decision in the end. In the video of the interview, it’s clear that McCain was joking, but how much of a joke was it?
When McCain selected Palin as his running mate, she was a mostly (nationally) inexperienced politician whose presence on the ticket was to excite the Republican base and to pander to a demographic group (women) that the GOP needed to appease in order to win the election.
After the joke about Palin, McCain was quick to mention Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a qualified candidate who is in the top tier of potential running mates for Mitt Romney, but what kind of a choice would that be? At first glance, it could look pretty good, but compare the similarities between Rubio and Palin.
Rubio would be a nationally inexperienced politician whose presence on the ticket would be to excite the Republican base (Tea Party) and to pander to a demographic group (Hispanic voters) that the GOP needs to appease in order to win the election.
Rubio getting the VP slot on the ballot wouldn’t shock many people, and I’d speculate that it could even be a safe bet. Still, when you consider the reasons for picking Rubio to the reasons for picking Palin in 2008, you can’t help but wonder if the Republican Party has learned anything in the last four years.
3 Things the GOP Needs to Do (assuming they want to win national elections in the foreseeable future)
This weekend I watched the final quarter of the Texas A&M and Alabama game. I’m not much of a college football fan, but it was an interesting game to watch. Alabama was playing at home, and in the last couple of minutes of the game, managed to lost a game they had plenty of opportunities to win.
After the game was over, the TV cameras focused on some of the fans whose expressions spoke volumes: “Woah. What just happened?”
Election Night for the GOP was similarly shocking. They were sure they would beat Obama this year. He had a record of more debt, and they had the Comeback Team. Never mind the fact that the Comeback Team was a pair of lackluster career politicians whose primary selling point was that neither had the surname Obama.
And now, like Alabama’s football team, the Republican Party has to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Like many political bloggers, I have a few suggestions.
Stop hating free markets.
The Republicans are supposed to be the party that values free markets, but there are few Republican politicians willing to take a stand for truly free markets. They insist on “doing something rather than doing nothing,” which means government intervention where it shouldn’t be found. Get the government out of the markets, and let the market corrections happen.
Stop hating people.
With the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on Arizona immigration status laws coming down earlier this week, one has to wonder what the candidates for President will work into their campaigns how those decisions will affect the race for President in November.
Peter Wallsten from the Washington Post writes:
The ruling came as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been struggling to connect with Hispanics after courting conservative primary voters with sharp rhetoric against illegal immigration. A survey published Monday showed him favored by just one-fourth of Hispanics.
The quandary for Romney and the GOP is clear from recent polling. The Arizona law is very popular with whites and independent voters, according to data from the Pew Research Center, while many GOP strategists think their party has little chance for success in battlegrounds such as Colorado, Nevada and Virginia if Romney doesn’t win close to 40 percent of Hispanics.
I suppose one might point to one unmistakable solution for Romney and the GOP which would come in the form of a VP nod to Marco Rubio.
On the other hand, you can point to statistical data pointing the current administration’s deportation record as was written in September of last year by Kevin Lincoln at the Business Insider:
There’s no doubt that the new Arizona immigration law is popular nationally, but that still doesn’t mean the issue’s going to work to the GOP’s advantage this fall.
Hispanics in the Mountain West are leaning much more strongly toward the Democrats since the Arizona law was passed. The big question then becomes whether there are white voters who are going to go Republican this fall who wouldn’t have if that bill hadn’t been passed. We don’t see any evidence of that happening yet- Bennet and Glassman are both doing better with white voters than they were before as well, although not to the same degree that they’ve improved with Hispanics.
A majority of Americans may support the bill but it could still end up working to Democrats’ benefit this fall if most of the voters who care enough about it for it be a determining factor in how they vote- or whether they vote- go in their direction.
Proposition 187 set Republicans in California back for more than a decade. This Arizona law could do the same thing in other parts of the Southwest.
As Steve Chapman said over at Reason, Arizona is now an uncomfortable place for both legal and illegal Hispanic immigrants. This poll bears out that Hispanics perceive this:
By a two-to-one margin Hispanics are more strongly opposed than Americans overall to the recent immigration measure signed in to law in Arizona that would make it a state crime to reside there illegally.
Seven in 10, 70%, of Hispanic respondents said they are somewhat or strongly opposed to the law, compared with 34% of all respondents in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll set for release later today.
Among Hispanics, 27% are somewhat or strongly supportive of Arizona’s law; that compares with 64% of respondents overall.
Al Jazeera English presents an excellent feature on moves by the Texas Board of Education to rewrite the state’s history textbooks. The most egregious offense, beyond the move to alienate Texas’ massive Hispanic population, is the omission of Thomas Jefferson, a founding president who wrote the Declaration of Independence, from the list of Enlightenment thinkers. These “traditionalist” revisionists seem to want to replace the complexities of history with their own bizarre account. To say that they are extreme is an understatement.