January 20, 2005


GOP Sees Outreach Potential in Agenda (Peter Wallsten, January 20, 2005, LA Times)

President Bush's plans to overhaul Social Security and enact other sweeping policy changes are making some Republican lawmakers uneasy about the political risks. But the party's new chairman said Wednesday that the White House agenda actually could "broaden and deepen" the GOP's dominance by attracting new voters, including young people and African Americans.

The comments by new Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman on the eve of Bush's second inauguration marked a rare acknowledgment that the president's objectives came with a political goal: GOP control in Washington for years after Bush leaves.

"When we push to save Social Security, we have an historic opportunity to bring more young Americans into our party," Mehlman said, referring to Bush's proposal to let workers put some payroll taxes into private accounts. "If you're 30 years old or younger and you care about a secure retirement, the Republican Party has a plan for you."

Mehlman also told party leaders that debates over nominating judges, funding faith-based groups, offering school choice and limiting lawsuits added up to potential gains for GOP candidates in the future.

"When we debate who should sit on the judiciary, we have an opportunity to deepen the GOP by registering to vote men and women who attend church every week but aren't yet registered voters," he said. "We can bring new African American faces and voices into our party when we debate whether faith-based organizations should have a seat at the table and whether public schools need to be more accountable and parents need more choices."

It's 1932.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 20, 2005 7:27 AM

Let's hope that the 2006 election goes like 1934.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 20, 2005 9:22 AM