Back in the 3rd week of 1993, the same week as Bill Clinton’s first inagural, National Review sponsored a Conservative Summit in D.C. I attended was quite invigorated by the gig which featured a wide selection of the leading conservative pols, writers and thinkers at that time. Republicans had been laid low and like today found themselves rejected by the voters and out of power everywhere. To a certain degree the gathering was therapeutic as it ofered the chance to clear out some of the dead wood and offer up fresh faces and voices. Newt Gingrich, not mcuh removed from backbencher status gave the most compelling speech from my perspective. Looking back now I can’t believe that anyone in the audience would have dared dream at tat time that he would be Speaker of the House in two short years. As we ponder circumstances today, perhaps this is another similar opportunity for rebirth. In my opinion the GOP is best understood as a party with two wings – the Rockefeller/Business Roundtable wing and the Entrepreneurial/Growth wing. Alas the Bushes for all the wildcat talk are at heart oldline Rockefeller Republicans (witness their cabinet selections from the business roundtable) the wing that inevitably drags the party to minority status. It is the entrepreneurial wing that focuses on small and start-up business and wealth creation that carries the ideas, energy and enthusiasm necessary to obtain and maintain majority status. The party’s primary task today is to dislodge much of the deadwood that was not already cleared out yesterday and find the new faces and voices that can bring the entrepreneurial wing back to prominence. McCain’s lasting legacy may well be his elevation of Sarah Palin as one of those entrepreneurial leaders.
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