John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Out of the Ashes

Posted on November 5, 2008



            We lost. 


            Get over it.


            And start rebuilding.


            This was not going to be a Republican year.  Everybody knew that.


            I thought McCain had a chance, but I was wrong.   Big time.


            He ran as a Republican, when he should have run as a conservative independent.


            Sarah Palin complicated his efforts to distance himself from President Bush and killed his efforts to make Obama’s inexperience an issue in the campaign. 


            Sure she jazzed up the base, but she turned off independent voters and didn’t do anything for women voters.


            Out of the ashes, Republicans now must start the process of rebuilding the party.


            And to rebuild the party, they must look to the future, not to the past.


            How will America look in fifty years?


            Well, it will be older, with more Americans living longer and with fewer Americans having children.


            It will be more diverse, with more Asians, more Hispanics, and fewer self-identified white people.  There will be more Tigers Woods and less John McCains.


            It will be more connected, with technology making life more immediate, information more accessible, and making it the world a much smaller place.


            What kind of world do we want our children and grandchildren to live in?


            Let’s not kid ourselves. 


            We will face huge challenges in the future.  We cannot continue to put off responsible choices in budgeting.  We can’t wish the entitlement crisis away.


            We cannot continue to compete with the rest of the world with a third-class education system.


            We cannot continue to spend more on health care on any other country and getting less out of it than most.


            At its heart, politics involves two essential ingredients. 


            The first is numbers.  Without the numbers, you can’t govern.  If you can’t get a majority of the nation to back you, you are irrelevant. 


            The second is competence.  If you can’t run a competent campaign, you can’t win.  If you can run a successful campaign but you can’t govern with competence, you will not stay in office long. 


            Republicans need to pay heed to both of these ingredients.  It is a numbers game, and right now, the numbers are trending against the GOP.  We will be a permanent minority if we continue to be a party of old white men.


            And should Republicans regain control of the government, they must come to grips with the power that they have.  They must govern with competence first, not ideology. 


            We got spanked tonight, deservedly so.  But as Joe Biden would say, now is the time for us to get up, wipe off the dust, and get back into the game.


            It starts tomorrow.

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