On Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled a 98-page "autopsy" of the GOP's 2012 election failures, saying the party needs to change its ways if it wants to do better the next time voters go to the polls. The review includes several recommended fixes, from embracing immigration reform to shortening the GOP primary process to improving the party's campaign ground game. One of the GOP's biggest problems, Priebus says, is that "we've done a really lousy job of branding and marketing who we are." As a result, Priebus says, many voters think Republicans are "scary" and "out of touch." To improve the party's image, the RNC plans to spend $10 million on a rebranding effort to reach out to minority voters.
This is a pretty "scathing self-analysis," says Neil King Jr. at The Wall Street Journal. Page after page, the report "describes the party as ideologically ossified, unable to speak to a wider electorate, and increasingly seen as representing the rich and the old." The recommendations on turning the party around are drastic, too, notes Janet Shan at the Hinterland Gazette. And they could do the GOP some good, as long as it can keep a lid on the kind of outrageous comments that created Republicans' image problem in the first place.
Many liberal commentators, however, scoff at the suggestion that the GOP's problem is as simple as bad branding. The GOP's real problem, says Georgia Logothetis at Daily Kos, is its "repulsively extreme" agenda. In that light, launching a campaign to spell out where the party stands is bound to do more harm than good.
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The Democrats couldn't ask for a better gift. [Daily Kos]
Of course, the GOP's internal review won't solve all of the party's problems right away, says John Fund at National Review. But it's still more than worthwhile to address "the need to restructure the presidential-primary process and better engage minority voters." And plenty of advisers think that the GOP would be wise to take a hard look at "the Republican political-consultant class," which collected millions in fees for scoring headlines while failing to deliver what the campaigns really needed — votes.
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