Rich Lowry’s column on Karl Rove includes this observation:
“On top of all this came the crushing charge of incompetence that threatens to overwhelm all else in the Bush legacy. Rove can’t be blamed for that. He didn’t run the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he wasn’t in charge of Phase IV post-combat military operations in Iraq. But the issue of competence alone ensures that there will be no Bush Republicans next year. The question for the GOP presidential candidates isn’t whether to distance themselves from Bush, but how far and how soon.”
I have written elsewhere that competence will be a central theme both in the GOP primary and in the general election. I continue to believe that GOP voters will look for a “change” candidate –one who in large part offers a different style of governance. We’re going to hear a whole lot about “hands on governing” and “record of reform” and “fixing broken government.” “Delegation” will be out and “riding herd on subordinates” will be in. Those with executive records will get to tout them and will have to defend them; those without will have to explain why we should trust them to clean up the Washington mess they decry.