- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Republican rout presents an opportunity to chart a new course for the conservative movement.

Abandoning the Republican Party’s core values is not a winning strategy. The party is perceived as one that no longer upholds the values of small-government and fiscal responsibility. John McCain could not energize the base of the party on his own. Also, his vote for the bailout package sealed his fate as one who could not - or would not - resist the relentless march of an expanding government. Mr. McCain voted for a bailout bill that was laden with pork, despite his pledges to resist all pork-barrel spending if he were to become president.

Republicans should remember that their core values are still very inspiring. This was evident with the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as Mr. McCain’s running mate. Mrs. Palin is a reformer and a sound fiscal and social conservative. She represents the future direction of the party.

The Republican Party was outmaneuvered in this election because of its poor ground game. Democrats were able to raise more money, register more voters, and communicate their message more effectively. The Republican Party needs to invest time, energy and thought into building an infrastructure across the nation that can rival and then eventually surpass that of its rival.

Election 2008 is a landmark not only because of an historic victory for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, but also because the election signals that we have entered a new age regarding how campaigns are organized and conducted. Mr. Obama brilliantly trounced both the Clinton machine and the Republican operation. In the aftermath of these impressive victories, Republicans need to emulate his strengths or face the consequences of their refusal to adapt to the new competitive environment.

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