Tuesday night’s vote counting ended with some Republican Party strategists coming to a single conclusion: The GOP’s viability hinges on it turning to a grown-up leader who can preach a gospel of inclusiveness.
That would be Haley Barbour, they say.
The former party chairman and two-term Mississippi governor bailed out as a potential GOP 2012 candidate in time to avoid having to take the sharp right turns the party primaries forced on Mitt Romney.
So with his brand intact, Barbour is getting increasing mention as the more moderate voice that can resurrect the Republican Big Tent of old.
For now, Barbour, who returned to his former life as a Washington lobbyist after leaving the governorship in January, is insisting the focus must be on problem solving for the nation – not necessarily party one-up-manship. “What we need to be thinking about as a party is how are we going to help get the country out of the terrible shape we’re in right now,” Barbour told CBS news Wednesday morning.
He also called for an immigration policy that takes into consideration the nation’s economic well-being.
If Barbour is to become the voice of wisdom for the GOP, here is sampling of the competing wisdoms he must overcome from other de facto party leaders:
-Rush Limbaugh: Obama treats “women voters like vaginas.”
–Bill O’Reily: Obama won because “people want free stuff.”
–Donald Trump: “We should march on Washington and stop this travesty,” he said of the president’s re-election.
–Ted Nugent: “Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav (sic) a president to destroy America,” he wrote. “Goodluk (sic) America u just voted for economic & spiritual suicide. Soulless fools.”
–Ann Coulter: “If Mitt Romney cannot win in this economy, then the tipping point has been reached. We have more takers than makers and it’s over. There is no hope.”
–Karl Rove: Obama “was lucky.”