Aftermath

Today is a new day in the political world.  Yesterday brought cheers to some and extreme disappointment to many.  What happen and why, what needs done?

We all know what happen.  On the surface without much sleep or study it appears the Obama team after 2008 made a tactical decision that brought benefits yesterday.  They left a staff footprint in places they knew were must wins for a second term – Ohio for one.  It took entirely too long for Republicans to find their nominee.  The Obama negative machine kicked in to define Romney before he could turn around.  The need to carefully handle the extreme branch of the Republican Party delayed Romney’s message that Republicans must work with Democrats to address the nation’s needs.  Not to be forgotten or even understood was why no effort was made to show the human side of this descent man.  Finally, there was that lady Sandy a late arrival to the political world.

What needs to be done?  The Republican Party’s tent needs to be expanded.  A serious look needs to be taken at the demographics and appeal to people in the minority and immigrant communities.  I recall Karl Rove telling us in early 2001 that for President Bush to win in 2004 we needed Hispanics.  Bush won 44 percent of Hispanics in 2004 and Romney 27 percent yesterday.

We know what happen in West Virginia.  Success came to Republicans by winning the Attorney General’s office with Patrick Morrisey and Allen Loughry becoming a member of the Supreme Court.  More importantly the gains made by Republican candidates for the Legislature is huge.  That is where real change in public policy comes from.  Overall the Democrats continued winning most major offices in the Executive Branch and the US Senate seat.

Governor Romney continued the Republican trend started by George W. Bush in 2000 when he became the first non-incumbent Republican to do so in 70 years.

What needs to be done?  Despite recruiting outstanding statewide GOP candidates as was done this year there is more to it than just filing, raising a small amount of money, attending Republican events and ramping up at Labor Day.  The success of Patrick Morrisey proves you can win but it takes an aggressive campaign, money and a political and marketing strategy.  Is there a lesson to be learned from Allen Loughry’s positive campaign?

Now with the gains in the Legislature it is time for Republicans to develop new public policy ideas with an aggressive communications strategy.

At the county level candidate recruitment should start today.  There are good candidates who did not make it yesterday but need to make a second run.  However, they must be supported by a strong grassroots Republican county committee.

The State Party needs to change the tone of its message, talk about the benefits of a two-party system at all levels and look for new blood where needed.

Finally, too often the party faithful in both parties put off creating the energy required for victory until the next election.  Success comes a day at a time.

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