Republican governors meeting in Miami, Florida today have declared themselves to be the powers to be reckoned with in the reformation of the Republican Party.
Pawlenty, Palin, Jindal - the whole cabal have decided that it's them and not the Washington Republicans who will take over the party and move it forward from this point on:
Republican governors, down and out after the party's devastating Election Day losses, said Wednesday that the future of the GOP rests with their ranks and not Washington politicians.
"Republican governors are the only people who can propose and implement Republican policies," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. "For America to see that Republican policies work, they're going to see it in states with Republican governors. That's always the way it is when you're the minority and the other party has the White House."
I guess the reported power struggle between McCain and Palin (the same one that Palin denied vehemently) is now complete. Palin and her pals have declared themselves the winners.
Update from The Washington Post:
Republican governors were the brightest spot in an otherwise dispiriting election last week for the GOP, but the chief executives gathered here Wednesday provided a gloomy assessment of their party's failures and a dark forecast for the future.
The Republican Party is ill situated to serve a changing America, they said. Members make excuses for corruption. The Bush administration and congressional leaders are fiscally irresponsible and have ceded the tax issue -- of all issues -- to the Democrats. Large swaths of the country are off limits to GOP candidates. Republicans have lost the technology advantage, and if they were part of a corporation, "heads would roll." It's going to be worse in 2010.
The Republican Governors Association, meeting at a sleek hotel on Biscayne Bay to survey the damage, itself is a thinned version of what it was in the heyday of GOP dominance of national politics. There will be 21 GOP governors come January, a loss of one, and only 16 of them made the trip.
They are convinced that their counterparts in Washington are incapable of finding a formula for resurgence and that the answer lies in the states.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty -- passed over by Sen. John McCain for the No. 2 spot on the presidential ticket and one of nine GOP governors who preside over states won by Barack Obama -- offered a summary of his party's predicament at the governors' opening lunch.
"We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we are losing our ability to compete in Great Lakes states, we cannot compete on the West Coast, we are increasingly in danger of competing in the mid-Atlantic states, and the Democrats are now winning some of the Western states," Pawlenty said. "That is not a formula for being a majority governing party in this nation."
As if that weren't enough, he ticked off a few more challenges.
"Similarly we cannot compete, and prevail, as a majority governing party if we have a significant deficit, as we do, with women, where we have a large deficit with Hispanics, where we have a large deficit with African American voters, where we have a large deficit with people of modest incomes and modest financial circumstances. Those are not factors that make up a formula for success going forward."
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