Friday, November 21, 2008

Rising Stars

The Washington Post has a list of the top ten Republicans to watch as we head into the new year. The party is about to undergo serious renovation after two disastrous election cycles. From 2006 and 2008, the body count stands at 54 seats lost in the House, 13 in the Senate (potentially 15 pending recount totals in Minnesota and the runoff election in Georgia) and of course, the White House.

The names and their respective states are listed below-

10. Steve Poizner, California
9. Haley Barbour, Mississippi
8. Jon Huntsman Jr, Utah
7. Eric Cantor, Virginia
6. Mark Sanford, South Carolina
5. Bob McDonnell, Virginia
4. Mitch Daniels, Indiana
3. Mitt Romney, Massachusetts
2. John Thune, South Dakota
1. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana

Bobby Jindal's name is at the top of every one of these lists. He will certainly become a major player in the rebuilding of the GOP.

John Thune ousted Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004 and maintains a loyal following in the Mount Rushmore state.

I was initially unfamiliar with a couple of the names (Poizner, for example, is California's Insurance Commissioner and frontrunner for the gubernatorial nomination in 2010) but each of their profiles are interesting. They represent key ingredients for the Republican Party's transformation.

Surprisingly Sarah Palin's name does not appear at all. The editors referenced the omission saying it is unclear how she will remain a national figure as Alaska's governor.

Analysts were expecting her to replace Ted Stevens in the Senate but it turns out he lost his seat. Alaska's second senator is Republican Lisa Murkowski who does not show any signs of retiring in the near future. Palin will have to craft a strategy that keeps her in the spotlight for the next four years if she wishes to emerge in 2012 as the frontrunner for the nomination.

Another notable exclusion from the list is Mike Huckabee, who will almost certainly be a candidate in four years.

To my dismay Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin does not make an appearance either. I completely disagree with that decision and look forward to Ryan becoming a major national figure.

When one election ends, another immediately begins. We are witnessing this now.We are seeing new leaders step up to take the reins of a party undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts.

The liberal media will do their best to persuade the public that conservatism is an archaic ideology. They will point to the past two elections to make claims that conservatives are rapidly shrinking in numbers. They will urge us all to join the Church of Obama and embrace the "change" their Messiah represents.

But we know better. We can see the truth with our own eyes. The ten individuals on this list are examples of the rebranding occurring within the GOP.

Conservatism is alive and well.

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