April 7, 2011

BUT THEY'RE STILL RUNNING IN THE BELTWAY, NOT YET THE COUNTRY:

The Truce Shall Set You Free: Whether there is an actual truce on social issues or not, Republican candidates seem to be spending a lot more time talking about the economy. (Josh Kraushaar, 4/05/11, National Journal)

Republicans are living in Mitch Daniels’s shadow, but they hardly know it.

The Indiana governor and potential presidential candidate was criticized by many conservatives when he called for a truce on social issues so the party could focus on getting the nation’s fiscal house in order. At the time, the conventional wisdom said that was not a ticket toward winning the Republican nomination.

But that’s exactly what all of the leading Republican contenders for the presidency are doing—and for good reason. The culture wars of the 1990s have taken a back seat to the bread-and-butter economic concerns facing millions of Americans who are out of work or struggling to make ends meet. [...]

Even former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has moved to appeal to all elements of the Republican coalition, has nonetheless focused much more on kitchen-sink issues. He’s injected himself in the polarizing labor fights in the Midwest, but has barely taken on gay marriage or abortion. His two-minute kickoff video for his presidential exploratory committee focused entirely on jobs, spending and entitlements—with not a mention of values.

“The 800-pound gorilla is still jobs and economic issues,” said Republican media consultant Rick Wilson. “My personal view is that talking about a truce is politically not where you want to be. But having a de facto one instead of a de jure one is pretty smart.”


Of course, W tried back-burnering social issues too, in order to be able to appeal to independents and conservative Democrats in the general, but he ended up having to discard the strategy in order to secure the nomination.


Posted by at April 7, 2011 6:04 AM
  

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