The collapse of the Ohio Republican Party in 2006, a collapse attributable largely to the utter incompetence and lack of conservative principle of former Gov. Taft and to the corruption scandals that engulfed his administration, led the way to the GOP’s national defeat that year and in 2008. (Not that Ohio CAUSED the national problems, but it became particularly symptomatic of them.)
Would it not be wonderful, then, if Ohio, so long a stalwart GOP state, were to lead the way back?
Sen. Voinovich’s retirement announcement opens up the chance for a great conservative trifecta in the Buckeye State that could do wonders to revive the conservative movement nationwide.
A host of big-name conservatives have endorsed Ohio former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for chairman of the Republican National Committee. Imagine if he wins, and then Ohio follows up in 2010 by electing solidly conservative Rob Portman (former Congressman and Bush official) as Voinovich’s replacement in the Senate while electing solidly conservative former House Budget Chairman John Kasich as governor?
I would then say that Ohio had more than made amends — and that both it, and the nation, would be tremendously well served.
Whether or not Blackwell is the best man for the job is for the RNC to decide, although there is every reason to believe he is among those who could do a truly superb job in that office. But just the sheer fact of his serious challenge for that post combined with the chance of a Kasich/Portman ballot bonanza in 2010 is a reminder that despite recent troubles, the Ohio GOP has produced some of the finest conservative talent around. Conservatives ought to be thrilled at the prospect.