This was a great weekend in most parts of my personal life. Good family time, good discussions and a great sense of connection from the past to the present and to the future. We sat at dinner, nine of us, and we had generations covered from 1938 to 1994 birth dates. In Memoriam we had all the way back to 1928 today: The group of course rather conservative in nature, but not to the extreme.
The one topic that seemed to be the undertone, at least in my mind, was: who is leading the Republican Party? I have bloged to this in the past, and having been right about the futility of the effort to save GM and Chrysler, I feel emboldened enough to pose the next question to myself: Who will be the next true leader of the Conservative Movement.
ALL POLITICS STARTS LOCALLY:
I look at the local politics and see Will Kraus fighting for every penny in the 48th District in the Missouri Statehouse. He worked hard during the session to focus dollars where they made sense and to keep Federal Unfunded Mandates from sneaking into our own states’ legislation: All above board and with knowledge. This is not rhetorical “transparency” this is a person who copies his constituents on all the activity and if you are interested, Will Kraus will talk to you, answer your e-mails and listen to your concerns.
But, the question locally remains the same, who is leading the GOP?
NATIONAL POLITICS, NATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Is the natural leader of the GOP Rush Limbaugh?
This is not a simple question. Rush Limbaugh has the political connections where he could be a leading voice for the GOP. However, Mr. Limbaugh is a radio voice who has the ability to raise the issues of the moment and then to get us all to think about them, but in the end he is not in the political machine and is not, at this point, able to set up a leadership position that most would follow.
Is Newt Gingrich the leader of the GOP?
Newt, I was one of his most eager followers in the Pact With America. It was innovative. It was creative. It was the only way to make national politics become local politics. It was an amazing effort and he took the country by storm. He is a powerful speaker and has great conservative positions that rally current thought. He is above Limbaugh in that he has fought the fight and won. He has done more than just focus attention on the issues, he was able to get people elected.
I like Newt and I would vote for him. However, I do not think that the majority would simply because he’s been on the sidelines since the late 90’s and was out maneuvered by the media and the politicians in Washington. He left from perceived infractions that pale in comparison to the tax cheating that we chose to ignore in this last election.
Is Sarah Palin the best conservative to lead the party?
She just might be the dark horse in this competition for the 2010 elections. Sarah Palin is the one person that has national exposure and has managed to move forward with good policy in Alaska, and has kept her name active in the national scene. She is a political figure that tends to draw lightning from the opposition because she brings up the question; can she win in 2012?
Sarah Palin is a physical conservative that has managed a State’s budget. She is someone that energized the Conservatives and made a race out of nothing for John McCain and for that she’s catching grief. Good for her! Sarah Palin is drawing comedic attacks again and this time she’s gone on the offensive. She did not have the muzzle put on her that the McCain campaign put on her. She’s letting Letterman know that she’s not taking jokes lightly. She let herself be defined by SNL, she’s not going to let it happen again with Letterman. She’s no Joke and Letterman found out.
Letterman, “…one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the 7th inning her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez’s… you can see how that could be awkward… now cut that out, get back in the dug out…”
Keep in mind that Letterman later said that it was her 18 year old daughter he was talking about; however, it was Palin’s 14-year-old daughter who accompanied her to the game.
During the SNL jokes Palin accepted it and tried to not retaliate, she has learned because if anyone at all took her credibility away it was SNL. It let people judge her on the SNL character because that’s what they saw, and not the person who had become governor of the State of Alaska. To quote one of my favorite lines, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” and Sarah Palin seems to be taking Letterman and the Media to task. This is her first fight, let’s see if she defines herself properly.
The questions still remains for me, who is the leader of the GOP, at this point I’d say Sarah Palin has the edge, but not by much. I’m staying tuned, I hope you are too.