Newt? Jeb? Whom?

A big problem currently troubling the Republican party greatly is the lack of a unified strategy and a highly credible party spokesperson.  It is neither good nor appropriate for party leaders like Boehner and McConnell to also be speaking for the party, while they are trying to legislate and do their jobs.

GOP Republican elephant question markI think it is time to find a highly competent person to do this for the party: help shape strategy and speak for the GOP.  I have a choice to propose: Jeb Bush.

Since he is an unlikely 2016 Presidential candidate, and can’t become FL Governor again (been there, done that), the only other GOP option (in politics) is to run for Senate from FL — but not in place of Marco Rubio, in addition to Rubio.  Taking on the strategist and spokesperson role would be great prep for this.

Of course, is Newt Gingrich an option?

Newt has penned a typical Gingrich memo:  lone, complex, full of good points but not quite actionable or suitable to solve the problem (sort of like his recent campaign went).  If you are willing to read a lot of words, check it out.  It is typically (for Newt) insightful, brilliant and confounding — all at once.

Newt’s lengthy epistle is not wrong. It is largely right, but takes far too much space, thought and words to frame the issues at hand, and nearly overlooks the most serious issues — the vastly different psyche of Americans between his heyday and now!

There are two fundamental parts to the challenge of GOP relevance to a voting majority of Americans. Newt doesn’t frame them this way.
1. Fiscal, ideological and constitutional beliefs and positions.
2. Social, lifestyle and psychographic/demographic beliefs and traditions.

If the GOP moves too far left (liberal) on number two, it will alienate a large portion of it’s current, more conservative, religious and moralistic membership.

If it does not move more to the center, it has little chance of representing (getting votes from) the factions that supported Obama so heavily — minorities, young, single, secular voters of all kinds (including LGBT …and if you don’t know what that acronym means, that’s part of the GOP problem!). These groups are a collection of niches who value a different set of rights and roles for government than most GOPers even can imagine!

That leaves #1, where there are realistically acceptable GOP positions that could appeal to minorities, women, youth, and LGBT voters — many of whom have a good grasp,of fundamental economic issues and the principles of fiscal responsibility.  This area is the easier bridge for the GOP to cross in attracting support and voters.

John Mariotti is an experienced author and former senior executive, and is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @johnentgrp

John Mariotti is an experienced author and former senior executive, and is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @johnentgrp

However, as in most human affairs, in a conflict between logic (#1) and emotion (#2), emotion usually wins.  Structuring a viable platform from which Republicans can win (and will embrace) is a hugely different task than ever before. The party needs guidance and leadership from people who embrace and understand those perspectives–and that is present in very little of current party leadership.  Who will those new, crossover leaders be, and will the establishment listen, understand and follow their guidance?

The three proven steps to solving any problem is to 1) understand the problem, 2) define the problem, and 3) solve the problem.

In finding the solution, I believe it will take a newly defined Republican party with many of the next generation of leaders replacing the ones Newt so eloquently describes as the “consultanting class and campaign acolytes.”.

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  1. I couldn’t agree more. GOP obviously needs to get thumped in a few more elections before they learn. We also need to take the steps necessary to match outreach and GOTV effort that the Democrats have maximized. Good Column.

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