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The 2016 election is so far away it is impossible to know what the political landscape will look like. Republicans will need candidates for governor and U.S. senator. To have a chance, those candidates — whoever they are — will have to dramatically and explicitly differentiate themselves from the national Republican image and message, unless events, or national Republican leaders and candidates, have altered the current views of the two parties.
To be a Republican on the West Coast (or a Democrat in the South) is to live with the frustration of not controlling your own destiny. There is nothing Rob McKenna could do or say that was going to overcome the image of the GOP created by national events and the party’s national leaders.
Blue state Republicans need to hope those leaders now see that demography is destiny. Republicans need to recapture the moderate, solutions-oriented message and tone that was lost when the war on terror swallowed the Bush domestic agenda. To do otherwise is to rely on an ever shrinking base, and the cynical hope that millions of Americans won’t exercise their right to vote. Hardly appropriate for the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan, and a very popular Governor of Texas who came into the White House with such high hopes.
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