Peggy Noonan claimed, correctly in my opinion, that the Tea Party saved the Republican party (Why It’s Time for the Tea Party -The populist movement is more a critique of the GOP than a wing of it, Wall Street Journal / Opinion Journal, September 17, 2010). A year ago (The Democrat’s Fragile Advantage – August 18, 2009) I stated that the Republicans will not be resurrected by the same old faces. The future of the Republicans are not the faces of Gingrich, Huckabee, Romney, McCain, or even Palin. It is the face of Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and Marco Rubio of Florida and others. They are clear speakers with substance rather than mere eloquence and real governing experience. They are both knowledgeable and intelligent.
This is not to suggest that the old guard are bad candidates or not qualified. It is just to suggest that change may require new faces with new energy. Competence and experience must also count.
The Democrats are relying on old faces (by old I do not mean aged, but stagnant) but the drawing power of the Clintons has become as irrelevant as the Republican old guard. The Democrats need some new faces with new energy. Obama’s claim to bring new ideas and change has been nothing more than the rehashing of failed old ideas.
Just as the Republicans were pulled from the ashes by a grass roots movement the same can happen for the Democrats. If the Republicans can restrain their movement from succumbing to ethnocentric intolerance they will retain the independent voters. If the Democrats can restore the fiscal common sense of Clinton or Kennedy while regaining the reputation for tolerance and openness their brand will be sustained.
If both parties will discuss the issues with some actual depth rather than partisan bickering and juvenile behaviors the voters may benefit as well.