Can Republicans Win?

Posted by David A. Peterson on 5. December 2008 in Issues, Message |

The short answer is yes – In fact I would have to say definitely yes.

 So how do we get there? Let’s take a look back at the past election. Why did John McCain and so many of his Republican friends fail to get elected?

 Here’s the short answer – the Republicans happend to be at the wrong side of the issue at that moment in time. If the issue had stayed focused on energy and gas prices as it was in the late summer then the Republicans probably would have won a sweeping victory.

 But that is not what happened. Republicans, rightly so, worked hard on pushing the energy issue in Congress. The President stop filling the strategic reserve and lifted some drilling moratoriums. Within a few weeks the gas prices began to fall, and with it the energy issue.

 What we all saw from the sidelines was a partisan fight. Yet in this case government worked for the masses and gas prices fell to more reasonable levels. Still, had energy stayed the main issue John McCain and Sara Palin would have had a solid chance. Governor Palin obviously had the strongest energy background of all the candidates given her states proximity to the issue and her past governmental appointments and offices.

Yet the issue didn’t stay focused on energy. Even if President Bush and the Republicans in Congress had failed to act on energy the real issue in this past election was the economy.

 Hindsight is 20/20 – I’m not blaming John McCain for his loss. He didn’t run the tightest campaign (“I’m suspending my campaign….” Now who’s idea was that?) but unfortunately he is not seen by the country as a strong pro jobs candidate. He is seen by the country as a maverick and with Sara Palin they were seen as strong mavericks with a heavy background on energy issues. But the economy – not those two.

If we could have a do-over who would Republicans have chosen as their candidate? It is clear now that Republicans did not vote in primaries for who was best at the current issue.

 Just to put things in perspective – I made the same mistake. I voted for Mike Huckabee. My vote was based on his conservative Christian stance on the issues. I thought that would ultimately become the main issue come November. Hillary vs. Huckabee, now that would have been a election to watch.

 Looking back using my hindsight I should have voted for Mitt Romney. Clearly he was the job’s candidate, the candidate with the strongest business background. The strongest auto background, CEO background, and leadership as a government executive.

 I wasn’t blinded by Mike Huckabee’s conservative message – I just completely missed the issue. The Democrats were screaming the issue at the top of their voice, and I didn’t hear it. Just like Franklin D. Roosevelt did to Herbert Hoover, Ronald Reagan did to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did to George Bush 41, the economy at all those points in time trumped all other issues.

 Democrats told us the economy would be the issue but we (me too) missed it. I was to busy thinking about Hillary and Huckabee.

In two years we get to move forward and have a do-over. Who should our congressional candidates be?

How about in 4 years in the next Presidential elections? Sara Palin or Bobby Jindal?  Both of these candidates are very strong on energy issues.

 The problem is – energy may NOT be the issue in 2010 or 20012. It may be terrorism, war, immigration, taxation, liberalism, jobs, social security, medicare, government corruption, or it may by energy.

Republicans need to unite around the candidate that can solve the current issue at hand. This election cycle was the ECONOMY followed by energy. The next election cycle may be ENERGY followed by terrorism. The point is I voted for the wrong man last winter. I missed the issue.

 Before we put forth the next candidate we need to make sure we have the right person for the current issue. Keep an eye on Palin and Jindal, but… if the issue isn’t energy or corruption then an eye is all you want to keep. Pull the voting lever for someone else.

Can Repulicans win? Absolutely, easily, no problem – as long as we have the right candidate for the issue at hand.

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