Scott Walker and the GOP's bright, fearless future

2016 is going to be so much better for Republicans than 2012 was

(Image credit: (REUTERS/Mike Segar))

In 2012, the GOP's rather underwhelming presidential primary field consisted of a few well-known figures from past national campaigns, the Contract with America coalition from the mid-1990s, and a handful of conservative figures with little or no broad traction in the electorate. The primary became a contest between Mitt Romney and a succession of boom-and-bust alternatives, with the nomination finally going almost by default to 2008's runner-up. Even though the bailouts and the Affordable Care Act had transformed the Republican Party's rank and file, GOP voters didn't have truly legitimate choices that reflected the new direction of the party's supporters. And as we all know, in the end, Romney proved unable to rally enough support to beat Barack Obama's troubled re-election effort.

Four years later, the future appears to have arrived. Republicans kicked off their primary season in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Freedom Summit staged by Citizens United and Rep. Steve King. And judging from this event, the future looks bright. Neither Romney nor Jeb Bush, both of whom last won a general election in 2002, showed up for the Iowa event. Instead, the hopefuls who flocked to Des Moines mostly came from what used to be called the GOP's bench, but who now have an opportunity to make a bid for national leadership.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.