Monday, November 10, 2008

Jeff Frederick and Future of the State GOP

Less than twenty-four hours after the ballots had been cast and Barack Obama had secured the White House, the implosion of the McCain campaign from inside the ranks points to a problematic future for the Republican Party nationally. The perception of this implosion has been shaped every single night on cable "news" (entertainment) for the purposes of beating down the Grand Old Party even further. The Republican staffers have played right into the hands of such objective-challenged journalists whom instead of engaging in proper analysis determine its in the best interest to pile on, especially on Governor Sarah Palin.

To make matters worse, the implosion of the State GOP seems poised to boil over given the recent criticisms of Jeff Frederick,Chairman of the State GOP. Delegates Frederick's inability to close the gap in the Presidential campaign leading to the Commonwealth of Virginia providing Barack Obama with its electoral votes is very troubling to many. What is more troubling is the fact that Delegate Frederick represents the 52d House District in prince William County that went for Obama as well.

Many contend that the Chairman of the State GOP is more concerned and focused on statewide elections, especially the Governor's race in 2009. This contention is troubling as well. The Presidential election, and this one especially, brought the possibility of capitalizing on the general enthusiasm and interest of all Virginians to build the foundations of networks and coalitions that would benefit the State GOP for years to come. There was an opportunity to leverage the free media and the blogosphere in particular to shape a new message for Virginia that could serve as the backbone of the upcoming campaign. There was an opportunity to invite these bloggers and volunteers that were in support of the Mccain campaign to a GOP Summit to begin jumpstart the foundation of networks and bring in representatives from the local Republican committees where interests and visons for Virginia could be expressed. As it seems, none of the opportunities were capatilized upon.

These are merely observations and are not meant to be highly critical of the work Jeff Frederick has undertaken, but what we are apparently experiencing is a disconnected network of local committees working on behalf of the State GOP, all be it independently, without a clear, unified vision for the future. The State GOP is losing ground, not only in voter rolls, but in organization standards and much of it has to do with the inability to capitalize on these local volunteers effectively. If the State GOP continues to fail to engage the electorate through various mediums, then exactly how is it the State GOP can expect to reload its financial coffers. If they engage people, listen to them and respond in kind with campaign visions catered particularly for the region in which those committees operate the State GOP would be better served.

The State GOP needs to stop permitting the Democrat Party from shaping the context of the debate. Republicans, as a result of bitter in fighting over the Gilmore/Davis convention, allowed Democrats to shape the debate with Mark Warner. The lost precious time because they failed to mobilize once Warner dropped out of the Presidential race signaling his intention to run with John Warner's potential retirement. Instead of seeing the landscape ahead and elevating a Tom Davis who could at least challenge Warner in the densley populated Northern Virginia, they saddled up with a selection with very little ability to inspire or raise funds. This here is important, many independents and Democrats though Gilmore faired better in the debates but it never translated into votes. The reason? The candidate.

Now, much of this may not be Jeff Frederick's fault to be sure but there was an opportunity to lead the State GOP out of the darkness of sorts by reconnecting and laying the groundwork for a grassroots conservative movement regardless of Gilmore or Mccain's campaigns. Leveraging the rallies of Sarah Palin would have been a start.

In the coming months, the State GOP needs to understand the simple fact that the Democrats believe it or not are NOT as secure as they would have you believe in the Commonwealth. How can I say this given the election results? Well, Wolf held on to his seat in a rapidly growing liberal Fairfax County with 60% of the vote. Experience and integrity counts. But more over, the Democrats have yet to get behind a candidate for Governor in 2009. If the Democrats were confident in either Delegate Brian Moran (Fairfax County) or State Senator Creigh Deeds from the 25th, does anyone really think that they would be encouraging Terry Mcauliffe of Fairfax County and former Chairman of the DNC 2001-05 to throw his hat in the ring. This spells opportunity for Jeff Frederick and the State GOP in my view. There will be a fight amongst the liberals and the moderate conservatives of the Democrat Party over the nomination and the rhetoric as already begun in the blogosphere where liberal progressives are going after Mcauliffe. In large part it is simply carry over by blogs like Rasing Kaine whick attacked divisively Hillary Clinton in the Primary and Mcauliffe's association as Chair of Clintons Presidential Committee simply is a bullseye.

Jeff Frederick has an opportunity to guide or shepard the State GOP in an effective manner if he shelves the negative attacks and divisive remarks that fuel the opposition in shaping the debate. His observations on Obama during the campaign were unneccesary and unprofessional to say the least. Every bit of free media needs to be measured and used to ADVANCE the GOP in its cause not provide soundbites to be used to undermine it.

Many seek to give Frederick a bit more time given he took over his present role a mere four months or so ago, but the foundations of the NEW State GOP need to be laid rather quickly so that volunteers and activists in the local committees can begin to build the brick and mortar of the future. Frederick had better understand the lessons of the McCain campaign right after he secured the nomination months before Obama has locked his up.

Jeff Frederick and the State GOP had better understand, to steal a phrase from Rocky;

"There is no tommorrow, there is no tommorow"!


Anonymous said...

Two points.
One is pressure could be placed on Frederick depending upon who takes the helm of the RNC, either Michael Steele or Newt Gingrich whom appear to be at the top of the consideration list right now.

Second, how will the campaign be waged in the interim against Moran, Deeds, and McAuliffe. Deeds is more of a centrist and has the best shot at winning regions like SW Virginia and Tidewater, whereas Moran's flavor plays more in the liberal region of NOVA to be sure. If Frederick faces a Moran or McAuliife and does not aid in delivering a victory his days are numbered. Deeds will be a tougher nut to crack and if the Dems are smart thats who they will nominate, but of course the liberal wing of the Party will once again do its best to position Moran at the top.

Anonymous said...

I think mahy of us would prefer to have Newt Gingrich on the debate stage during the Republican Primary in four years.

Newt is the most articulate of any of the Republicans and has a firm grasp of the history of economics and foriegn policy.

I would prefer to see Romney and Newt take control of the direction of the Party over a Sarah Palin. Newt's American Solutions should be the playbook for the GOP in the future, whether or not he is the QB or not.

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