As part of the Growth and Opportunity Project’s effort, focus groups were conducted in Columbus, Ohio, and Des Moines, Iowa, to listen to voters who used to consider themselves Republicans. These are voters who recently left the Party.So at least on paper, Republicans (or at least the ones who wrote the report), know there's an issue. But does that mean they're ready to solve it? Well, unless you think the GOP's problem has nothing to do with the policies it represents, all signs point to no:
Asked to describe Republicans, they said that the Party is “scary,” “narrow minded,” and “out of touch” and that we were a Party of “stuffy old men.” This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys.
Beyond immigration, it barely touches on policy. That was by design, according to the report, because it’s not the RNC’s purview. Still, policy is no small part of the GOP’s internal debate now, which underscores the limitations of what a party committee can do.Hmmm. On the one hand, it really didn't work out too well for John McCain when he attacked Barack Obama in 2008 as "the biggest celebrity in the world." So maybe it does make sense to embrace celebrity culture.
For instance, there are no references to abortion or Planned Parenthood — or any of the issues that were at the heart of the battle for female voters last year. The report says the GOP lost the “war on women” messaging but doesn’t make clear how the party should be on offense going forward.
Other suggestions are likely to meet with some chuckles, such as one related to doing better with younger voters: “Establish an RNC Celebrity Task Force of personalities in the entertainment industry to host events for the RNC and allow donors to participate in entertainment events as a way to attract younger voters.”
But on the other hand, last I checked, Clint Eastwood was a celebrity. And I think we all remember what he brought to the table in 2012:
As Clint Eastwood shows, being a celebrity alone isn't enough to expand the GOP's coalition. Republicans need somebody younger. Somebody who doesn't like to converse with empty chairs. Somebody who is—dare I say it—of the female gender. With that in mind, presenting the star of this weekend's show at CPAC: