06 November 2014


Original Story: detroitnews.com

Move over, tea party. This is now Gov. Rick Snyder’s Michigan Republican Party.

That’s the takeaway from Tuesday’s general election, in which Snyder won re-election to the governor’s mansion over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer.

In the wake of notable wins by Republicans across the country — the most defeats of incumbent Democratic U.S. senators since 1980, the largest caucus in U.S. House since World War II and an even larger super-majority in the state Senate — it was Snyder’s victory that stood out the most.

From a complete restructuring of the business tax, the long-stalled Windsor-Detroit international bridge, state-based health care reform (notwithstanding the groans of many in his own party), monumental right-to-work legislation — once unthinkable in the birthplace of the UAW and other trade unions — to saving Detroit, Snyder defied conventional wisdom in his first term.

His bold leadership stood in sharp contrast to the overly cautious career politicians, who would have avoided most of what he achieved over fear of endangering their re-election prospects. On top of all this, Snyder slayed his critics on the hard-right when Lt. Gov. Brian Calley was re-nominated at the summer Republican State Convention.

So while challenger Mark Schauer hammered away with falsehoods, the Republican former businessman known to many as the nerd-in-chief remained positive and engaged in substantive discussions instead of Punch and Judy politics.

To be sure, many Michiganians certainly didn’t always agree with Snyder. But in the end, they rewarded him when it mattered most by giving him another four years.

For the GOP, this is the road map to a national governing majority. The 2016 presidential campaign will soon begin.

Snyder’s victory, as well as the wins of Republican gubernatorial candidates Bruce Rauner in Illinois, Charlie Baker in Massachusetts and Larry Hogan in Maryland, proves that focusing on competence and good governance is a reliable recipe for electoral success in even the most bluest of Democratic states.

More importantly, it elevates the national profile of Snyder at a critical time for the party desperate to occupy the White House after losing the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.

Snyder’s lesson for the GOP is simple: Ignore political gamesmanship and govern successfully.

President Barack Obama isn’t just a lame duck. His administration is paralyzed, if not politically dead.

If Democrats ignored Obama this go-round, they will abandon him outright in two years. This will do more for Republicans than any GOP criticism of Obama going forward.

Just as Snyder achieved real results here in Michigan, so must Republicans prove to the American people that they are once the again the party of solutions, not the party that just says no.

Failing to realize this will result in a repeat of 1996 and 2012, when the false reality created in the aftermath of resounding mid-term election victories resulted in Republicans squandering winnable presidential races.

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