Both 2006 and 2008 were wake-up calls to inside-the-beltway Republicans. Some are not only loyal to the Ghost of Presidents Past, some are like the Rip Van Winkle of ideas. But there is some great news. A few haven’t been sleeping. Or asking permission of the Scrooge-du-jour.
Call him the leader, or better yet… Call him The Whip. Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor is branching out & getting on the New Media Train. Last summer, I interviewed Cantor on US Energy Policy after Speaker Pelosi saw fit to shutter the House when Cantor & some of his colleagues wanted a full debate. A few weeks later, Cantor returned to discuss Foreign Policy, with a focus on Israel and Iran.
Now, Cantor is taking the lead on the Economy. From The Whip’s office:
In response to President-elect Obama’s challenge to Republican Leaders on Monday, Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today announced that he will invite top national experts and leaders to testify at a hearing next week to offer innovative ideas and solutions to help revitalize America’s economy. Families across America are facing unprecedented challenges, and House Republicans are committed to an open and transparent exchange of ideas to find the best approach to put America back on a path to prosperity.
Mr. Cantor also released the following statement:
“Our working group was formed in response to President-elect Obama’s request that Republicans offer ideas to help put American back on the path to prosperity. On Thursday, we will hold a hearing, featuring top national experts, designed to foster an open dialogue that yields innovative approaches that meet the needs of working families and small businesses and put America back on the path to prosperity.”
To achieve his goals, of bring the American people into the debate about OUR economy – Cantor has laid down a new media challenge:
Got Twitter? Eric Cantor does too. Just follow @EricCantor and @GOPWhip. (While you are at it, follow me @MediaLizzy) Barack Obama had one thing right – “Change” is coming to Washington. But “Change” also arrived with Eric Cantor after being elected Whip.
The Republican Party, and conservatives, must break with loyalty to the last generation of ideas, people, consulting strategies, and failed messages. Of course, we must know where we come from. Take the ideas and policies that are good – but transform them to fit the 21st Century realities we all face. No one is going to rescue Gen X or Gen Y. We will have to do that for ourselves. Generation Jones, those leaders on the cusp between Boomer & X – they are transisitional figures. Obama, Cantor have that in common. They share a burden for improving our nation. When they agree, great. When they disagree, also great. But make no mistake, Eric Cantor is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the People’s money, and the best long-term interests of our nation – not just the short-term pretty promises of instant gratification.
A real leader knows the difference. For the GOP, Eric Cantor is poised to be that man.