November 7, 2012
THE JEB-SHAPED HOLE:A Status Quo Election (Fred Barnes, 11/07/12, Weekly Standard)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2012 5:20 AM[T]here was huge hole in the GOP field. The entire younger generation of smart, attractive Republicans didn't run: Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Pat Toomey. They were missed. Several of them might have been stronger presidential candidates than Romney. No doubt some or all of them will run in 2016.They represent the Republican future in the best possible way. They are the heirs of Ronald Reagan and advocates of a reform conservatism that is more relevant than ever, given the country's fiscal mess and foreign policy troubles.No doubt the media will insist that Republicans must change, must sprint to the center, must embrace social liberalism, must accept that America is destined to play a less dominant role in the world. All that is hogwash, which is why Republicans are likely to reject it. Their ideology is not a problem.But there is also a hole in the Republican electorate. There aren't enough Hispanics. As long as two-thirds of the growing Hispanic voting bloc lines up with Democrats, it will be increasingly difficult (though hardly impossible) for Republicans to win national elections. When George W. Bush won a narrow reelection in 2004, he got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. If Romney had managed that, he would have come closer to winning. He might even have won.So we're left with four more years of Obama, the man with no plan and no mandate. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could have a successful second term with a booming economy and a de-polarized Washington.