November 5th, 2008
08:31 AM ET

The way forward for Republicans

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.mccain.lost.jpg width=292 height=320]
Rachel Campos-Duffy
Blogger, TV host, mother

So the question is where do we Republicans go from here? At this point it’s cliché to say that we're being punished for George Bush’s sins and for economic crises that happened on our watch, and unfortunately, in the final months of a close election.

There’s no point in reminding the voters about Chris Dodd and Barney Frank who pushed mortgages for the poor but no regulations to prevent fraud, and the Democratic Congress, which took control in 2006 but did little while the mortgage and credit derivatives markets spun out of control.

The voters wanted change, even if they didn’t exactly know what Obama’s nebulous definition of change looked like. This was not the year for old white guys (or women – hello, Hillary), who had spent a lot of time in Washington.

Now, the Democrats celebrate. On the Republican side, a quieter transition is also occurring. The future of the Republican Party will be passed to a new generation of young, smart, conservative, and principled leaders like Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan who will help the Party shed its tired image and restore its core principles.

This election has also secured Governor Palin’s role in the Party’s future. If Obama taught us anything, it’s that star power matters, and right now, she’s all we got. For conservative moms like me, she is a bright light, but she is not enough.

The Party will also need to find and nurture leaders who can inspire younger voters and minorities, especially Hispanics. At this moment, we don’t know who they will be. That’s ok. They will emerge. President-elect Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator less than two years before he announced his run for president!.

Editor's note: Rachel Campos-Duffy blogs on http://www.Parentdish.com. She has periodically hosted several television shows. And she is mother of fiver children.

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Johnna

    Gov. Sarah Palin would have taken away women's rights as we know them. Women have struggled for centuries, and if Sarah Palin was elected Vice President, would be completely embarrassed by her. She would have made a mockery of our gender, and supporting Sarah Palin is rejecting everything that has helped us become who we are today.

    November 6, 2008 at 9:24 am |
  2. Lori

    I just saw a popular blogger say "hopefully the winning half of the country will remember that the rest of us are feeling very discouraged today." gee, i don't remember being treated that way when our candidate won, i'm sorry, *lost* eight years ago.

    If the pendulum is to swing back for the republican party, they are going to need to embrace intelligence and leadership. so .. no sarah palin.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  3. Terry

    I joined the Democratic Party in 2004 and this year voted a straight ticket for the firs time in my life to try and save the soul of the Republican Party. After eight years of disaster it is clear that the neo conservative ideology which hijacked the party of Barry Goldwater and Everret Dirkson and other giants of the GOP does not work. Rush led you all astray and got filthy rich doing it. Wise up! Get smart ! Let me register as an independant , where I belong.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  4. Jack S.

    Republicans should be worried about why the traditional conservatives - the Goldwaters, Eisenhowers, Buckleys - abandoned the ship that could only turn hard right. Sarah Palin reaffirms only that extreme element of the party and showed herself Constitutionally ignorant, a frightful thing. Better find the Republican center.

    As for the mortgage crisis, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 had no effect. Trace CRE data against subprime mortgages. Much "blame" lies in the dergulation under Gramm-Leach-Bliley, with just 50 Democrate "no" votes.Still, Republican leadership specifically blocked oversight legislation three years ago and Bush's "America's Home Ownership Challenge" pushed hard for lenders to open their standards to enable home ownership to more people, on face value a good thing but, obviously, so poorly executed. You can find the facts, if you want, on HUDs web site in a document entitled "Blueprint for the American Dream." One thing Republicans my try to learn is that facts can be separated from propaganda so easily.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Ron Olson

    The Republican leadership just does not get it and they will continue to push moderates like me away if they do not change. The conservative right my have all the power in the party but they are in the minority and are doomed to the same fate as the dinosaurs. I do not need a party to govern my morals just my country

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Ron Olson

    The Republican leadership just does not get it and they will continue to push moderates like me away if they do not change. The conservative right my have all the power in the party but they are in the minority and are doomed to the same fate as the dinosaurs. I do not need a party to govern my morals just my country

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  7. Dave S, Tinley Park, IL

    Close election? You certainly couldn't be talking about the Presidential election that occurred yesterday. Better take another look at those electoral vote numbers if you were.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  8. Carl"fig"Newton

    Congradulations Rachel Campos-Duffy,as a democrat I am so glad that this nation still has republicans,who have not jumped ship(to the democratic party side) that still think like yourself and "joe the plumber" . The key words that you said that every democrat will love to hear 4-years from now is "Sarah Palin" Oh Yes and lets not leave out "Ole'Todd Palin". The Democrats need another "Easy Victory". If you really want to hang your hat on a true worthy opponent to my Dems look at the Ex-Gov.'s of Pennsylvania,Missouri or Alabama's Jo Bonner even Tom Coburn from Oklahoma these are not Divas and they bring some "heat" to us.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  9. Lesley

    Republicans will be hard pressed to find an Obama in their ranks. I don't agree that Palin will be a bright spot in the future of the Republican party. She is too narrow minded, divisive and nasty. It's clear that her style of politics is not the way forward. To compare her "star" with Obama is comparing apples and oranges. She does not reach out to people but rather pushes her own agenda in spite of the hopes and dreams of those who do not agree with her. We are not all evangelicals nor do we want to be. Palin does not embrace that or even understand how to go about uniting the whole of the nation and not just her little corner of the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Sharon Kitchen

    You said alot here. Shed and restore and nurture youth and future leaders with core values.That is alot to build on.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  11. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Sorry Rachael but Sarah Palin is hardly a 'bright light' she is merely a bonfire of on the trash heap of out moded ideas and an ever shrinking uneducated anti-intellectual and morally bankrupt conservative republican base.

    If you really want to move the Republican party forward ditch the dwindling Red Neck minority nonsense and start courting middle class educated America. Sarah Palin will do nothing but hasten your decline in this arena.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm |
  12. Jim, Ca.

    Reasons We Lost-
    #2. You have to help the person at the bottom- You chose to help the top
    & Refused to do the job we pay you to do.
    #3. You had Nixon,Ford,Reagan,Bush 1 & 2 – 5 Presidents to get this Country back to the Foundation on which it was laid-& to get a job done- You failed& will continue to fail until you learn that Right is Right & Wrong is Wrong- Go back & Relearn What God Himself said & Did for this Nation-If You Obey You will be blessed- Disobey & you will be Destroyed.
    You have allowed Abominations to go unchecked for decades & it is a testimony to the Allmighty's Patience,That this Country has not been wiped off the earth- but these things have had to come to pass That a One World Government, The Beast & False Prophet may Come forth & the Whole world will learn the Hard way.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  13. CMount

    Everyone's talking about needing another Ronald Reagan. I remember when he was elected, we thought the American public couldn't get any less intelligent. They had just voted in a Movie Star on name recognition only– not great movies either, ones like "Bedtime for Bonzo." We were in tough economic times, businesses were closing and we had lost hope while the White House was having one big cocktail party. He had no political experience! I had voted for the first time and didn't vote for him. I was a sophmore in college in NC out for a care- free walk one day when I came back into my dorm and turned on my stereo w/ huge speakers and found out about the assassination attempt on his life. My heart hurt and I think I cried. How could someome try to kill MY President, I thought. I subconsciously said, if he makes it, I will stop thinking of him in a bad light. It turned out he had that leading-man capacity to say in a sense that "everything is going to be alright" and make us believe it !
    That is the push we needed at the time. I hope Obama will have the same charismatic quality he has shown so far to say to us and the World that "everything will be alright now" without the trickle down economic ideas of Reagan. Calming anxiety goes a long way. We don't need an angry leader that causes us to have more enemies around the World. We need a calming force. Maybe ironically, Obama is the next Ronald Reagan.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  14. Gary Chandler in Canada

    I can NOT believe folks who get paid for analysis are saying Palin is the star of the future!? Once bitten, twice shy?
    McCain made her 'famous' and pork belly ways 'famous'.
    Is the Lower 48 going to be okay with getting $50 per of Washington money, while paying $500 per in YOUR tax money to grow Palin's popularity up there?
    Then there are the ones saying she has a future in entertainment. I don't get that either? Is Tina Frey resigning???
    The Republican base is an anchor for moving the GOP into the future, not a sail!!!
    Imus gets kicked off the air for racial comments; while Limbaugh and Hannity get rich on it. WHY? and they LOVE Palin go BASE GO!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  15. Terra Hoskins

    Republicans should do a better job of explaining how their ideologies work. Outline their position on taxes, for example, and how it affects companies, jobs, prices. Like econ 101, because I think people don't get it. Maybe they do get it and don't agree with it, but I still feel like walking people through the concepts would be a wise tactic. Talk in case studies and facts.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:27 pm |
  16. Mary

    Rachel wrote:

    This election has also secured Governor Palin’s role in the Party’s future.

    With this kind of thinking, the Republicans will never recover!

    Go back to Alaska Sarah, and stay there.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:55 am |
  17. Betty, Virginia

    Having voted as a republican for many years, the appearance of Sarah Palin will keep me from returning. Her unacceptance of those who don't agree with her, her very far right views, her meanness of spirit are not things I admire.

    If this is the new face, my vote will remain with the democratic party.

    I had decided to vote for president elect Obama more than a year ago, but talking to many of my republican friends, Palin was the decision that made them take a look (and in many cases cast a vote for) Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  18. Larry

    There was no economic crash until the democrats took control of congress.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:11 am |
  19. Charlotte D


    Sour grapes so early in the morning. Unlike George Bush who only served those who voted for him, Barack has promised to serve all Americans. I would hope that we can give non-partisanship a try if only for a day.

    I also note that you see the Republican Party passing to "young, smart, conservative and principled leaders..." Which one of these attributes is the trump card? I can see the young, smart and principled part, but why do they have to be conservative? What does that mean? If they were principled but not conservative does that mean they can't be a Republican? Do you already have their agenda settled? What about being a centrist? Is there no room in the party for moderates?

    As for Governor Palin, she might be a bright light but there is a dim bulb behind that light. Rather than spreading misconceptions and speaking about which she does not know, I hope she uses her time wisely to study the issues and broaden her world view and not just memorize a play book.

    November 5, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  20. Hayley

    Are you suggesting that people voted for Obama simply because they were mad at Bush? If I'm interpreting that correctly, I can tell you it feels very condescending to those of us who voted with our hearts.

    This isn't about punishment. This was America crying for a change, and they decided Obama could do it. Obviously you disagree, but it is not my intention to argue over who was the better candidate. I just can't stand that a democratic win is being made out to be ABOUT the republicans. This is about America.

    Maybe that attitude is what drove some people away.

    November 5, 2008 at 10:10 am |
  21. ralph

    Stop trickle down tax cuts that have been called government spending. Trickle Down has ruined our economy on all 4 occasions used. History shows Hoover used trickle down first with a 500 million dollar give a way to the rich hoping to create jobs. Reagan used them to enhance small business to win the war on organized labor that goes on to this day with declining economy black monday stock market crash and S&L crisis. Bush carried on Ronnie's agenda till it made him a liar and into recession. Bush 43 made sure balanced budget was gone. Put tax cuts for wealth in place. The ones McCain said favored the wealthy and could not vote for. Next Bush raised debt ceiling and borrowed money from National debt to replace lost tax revenue calling it government spending. This really is socialistic or why try to hide it. This all happened when he might have payed some attention to a warning about something was up and airport security should be improved. By 2003 trickle down had lost 11.5 million jobs as job loss and everything mentioned happened before 9/11. eventually 7 million jobs where created in second term but what happened to the other 5.5 million people? These tax cuts are the problem and have run up national debt for future generations to pay for thus they are spreading the debt . This is socialism not conservative earning my new name for a group of Reagan Republicans know as NEO-CON'S Whose name should be THE NERO-CONS because they have our country burning. Trickle down creating more tax revenue is a myth. Free anything is a myth. There is nothing wrong with fair. Get back to doing what the dictionary defines a Republican and conservative as. You will notice change is not on this list. Also Grahan's statement at Alito hearing tells us. I have no problem with a senator saying The People that sent me here say I should vote for this person but He's my president's pick(or parties pick) so I am voting for him is unacceptable. These are the only problems I see from an independents view.

    November 5, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  22. xtina, chicago IL

    I think conservatives are looking for a purer representative of their values. John McCain wasn't exactly that person. Sarah came close, but was too little , too late and too unknown, and too inexperienced.

    I hope Barack Obama is the "moderate Democrat" he promises he will be. I hope he appoints a number of conservatives to his Cabinet, as he promises he will. He says he's the President of not only those who voted for him, but for millions of conservatives. It's an anomaly that someone from this "one-party rule" state of Illinois, which is utterly corrupt, is being sold as a uniter. I hope it's possible for Obama to reach across that aisle in Washington now and be an example for Illinois politicians to whom he is very closely tied .

    November 5, 2008 at 9:21 am |
  23. lynne

    im a independant that Used to vote mainly republican. in fact the last time i voted democrat was with bill clinton. i was really moved by john mcCain's speech last night for the first time in Months. i finally saw the man that i had hoped would br the right choice for me, but i found myself hating the hate mongering typical nasty politics tht seemed to take over his campaign. i am looking forward to seeing if the republican party will be able to rise back to the party it was, because it Sure seems like they have been in a downward spiral for Years.

    November 5, 2008 at 9:00 am |
  24. Cindy

    What is next for republicans? I can tell you. All we have to do is sit back and wait until 2012. The nation will be screaming for the reps to come back and save it after being wrecked by the democrats. This is the way it always works...the dems get in office, screw things up royally then the reps have to come back in and clean up the mess. That is the exact same way it will go this time too.


    November 5, 2008 at 8:55 am |