THE SPECTER OF HILLARY
I recently received an email from Denise McNamara, a former National Committeewoman from Texas and a great conservative, who was lamenting the fact that two prominent Republican leaders, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, were engaged in a public feud, complete with ugly name-calling that made headlines, coast to coast. Since both Governor Christie and Senator Paul are potential contenders for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Democrats were beside themselves with joy and the national press gave the dust-up maximum publicity.
According to Denise,
“This week’s feud. . . highlights the growing division in the Republican Party. It’s not just Conservatives and Libertarians, though. It’s also establishment types and consultants. We are a fractured group. And the problem is that none of the factions can win an election on its own. We need each other. And if we do not find a way to cooperate, the Republicans will go the way of the Whigs.”
There is a lot of truth to what Denise says, both nationally and in Mississippi as well. The Republican Party and its candidates will continue to be successful in Mississippi and nationally only so long as we remain united, hold true to our conservative principles, and resist those special interest groups, including lobbyists and “consultants”, that seek to divide us for personal gain.
I have always preached Ronald Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment” when speaking to Republican groups (“Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican”), because I know that acrimonious public discord between Republican elected officials and/or candidates during the primary season is like manna from heaven to Democrats and to liberal news media types who are always looking for a good story on how Republicans are “breaking ranks” or fighting among themselves on some issue or another.
There is, of course, no way that elected Republican officials (or their staff members) are going to agree on every issue, nor should they, when seeking solutions to problems that affect every American or Mississippian. What they should do, however, is choose their words carefully when publically disagreeing with each other. They must realize that the Republican movement is more important than any of them and that when they disagree violently, they do damage to the movement that is the last great hope to preserve America as we have known it – the land of the free and the home of the brave. I recall the words of none other than the venerable Governor Haley Barbour at a “note-burning party” we had a few years back when we paid off the debt on our Republican Party Headquarters building in Jackson. On that occasion he said: “Governors come and go; the Party goes on forever.”
I share Denise McNamara’s concerns. In my view, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, as well as other potential Republican Presidential hopefuls, should be scolded and schooled by the Republican National Committee on how to properly conduct themselves as Republican Party Presidential candidates leading up to the 2016 Presidential election. Perhaps then they would be able to convince those of us who are worried about the future of our country that they have the temperament necessary to lead a united party to victory and to lead the country. Such grown-up leadership is badly needed with the specter of Hillary Clinton waiting in the wings to succeed President Obama.