Big Tent Republicanism and Looking Ahead to 2016

Former Secretary of State Condi Rice was on CBS this morning to talk election aftermath and where the GOP goes from here.

“Right now, for me the most powerful argument is that the changing demographics in the country really necessitates an even bigger tent for the Republican Party. I also think that many of the things for which the party stands are broadly popular with the American people — fiscal responsibility, a chance to educate your children in the way that you think best, the possibility of strong national defense — these are all things I think that can unite us,” Rice said.

She continued: “But when you look at the composition of the electorate, clearly, we are losing important segments of that electorate and what we have to do is to appeal to those people not as identity groups but understanding that if you can get the identity issue out of the way, then you can appeal on the broader issues that all Americans share a concern for.”

If you listened to Condi’s speech at the GOP Convention, she talked about this…about how the message of the Republican Party is to give the people opportunity to advance. We need to become a bigger, more inclusive party, pushing a message of freedom, opportunity, individual liberty, and social advancement through personal ambition.

Condi, who is in favor of civil unions and a comprehensive immigration reform, is the right speaker for our party. Strong on national defense and security and where our party needs to go on social issues. She’s an advocate for school choice and will make a great spokesperson for our party.

Moving forward, the path to the 2016 nomination looks twofold: for the Democrats, it goes through Hillary Clinton. According to PPP, in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida, Hillary races out of the pack and would be the clear favorite to succeed President Obama. If she chooses not to run, it looks like a knock down, drag out fight between Vice President Biden, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, and MD Governor Martin O’Malley, with others sprinkled in.

For the Republicans, there is no clear favorite. In Iowa, Mike Huckabee; in New Hampshire, Chris Christie; in Florida, Jeb Bush. Paul Ryan, Condi Rice, and Rick Santorum are in the mix as well. Personally, I do not think Jeb will run, he knows he missed his chance and his mentee, Marco Rubio, will be one of the hot names. Jeb will be Education Secretary in a future administration or a viable candidate against Bill Nelson in 2018. Sarah Palin will not run and I encourage her to run for Senate in 2014. Rick Santorum’s time has come and gone, as has Mike Huckabee’s. I think Chris Christie is viable if he wins the governorship in 2013 again; if he loses, he might need to redeem himself with a Senate race in 2014. I wish wish wish wish wish Condi Rice will run but I think her path is the 2014 California Governor’s Race and she will win it.

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