GOP overhaul, Israel trip
REPUBLICANS SMELL THE COFFEE
Republicans have looked into the mirror and don’t like what they see: a bunch of “stuffy old men.” But they forgot to add “white.”
It’s one conclusion in a post-election analysis of what’s wrong with the GOP, which has lost five of the last six popular votes in presidential elections - and what it needs to do to turn it around.
The 98-page report by the Republican National Committee (RNC) proposes comprehensive immigration reform – a play for the big and fast-growing Hispanic voting bloc that went for President Obama by 44 points in November - addressing middle-class economic fears, being more accommodating to young voters, particularly women, and shortening the 2016 primary season. The nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney, was pounded for months by fellow Republicans, hurting his standing among the broader public.
The GOP has also discovered technology. The report urges an overhaul of its voter database and better use of digital technology. Poor use this last year contributed to Republican losses.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus calls the report an “autopsy” of the party’s 2012 loss and a roadmap forward. He’ll discuss it today at a news conference.
There’s no one reason we lost,” Priebus plans to say, according to prepared remarks. “Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement. … So, there’s no one solution: There’s a long list of them.”
WRONG MESSAGE ON SPENDING
Speaking of needing to change: An outside group that’s linked to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out with a report that warns conservatives to stop talking less about spending cuts and more about issues seen as closer to voter’s minds, such as gasoline prices and education.
The poll, commissioned by the nonprofit YG Network, shows that while Americans are concerned about deficits and debt, they’re more concerned with their own personal economic well-being.The YG Network polling, conducted by the GOP firm McLaughlin & Associates, says 38% of Americans name the “economy and jobs” as their top issue, followed by “deficit and debt” with 20%.
MIDDLE EAST PREPS
President Obama heads to the Middle East this week. First stop: Israel, which Obama has never visited as president – he went as a Senator – and he’ll discuss Iran and the stagnant peace process. He’ll also visit the West Bank, where he’ll meet with Palestinian leader Abbas; he’ll also visit Jordan for talks with King Abdullah.
The trip is expected to be more symbolism than substance, except for the issue of Iran. The president said last week that Iran is about a year away from having a nuclear weapon – which he has vowed to prevent from happening. Not a strategy of containment – a strategy of prevention. On this issue, Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu see eye to eye.
President Obama devotes part of today to a voting bloc that helped him Monday to the history of a key constituency: women. It’s Women's History Month, and he’ll marks the occasion with an event in the East Room. Mrs. Obama is also scheduled to attend.