As the GOP battles with questions of how it lost the 2012 presidential election and how it can move forward and pursue, as Gov. Bobby Jindal suggested, “100% of the votes,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell took a very different approach to the GOP’s future. And it goes something like this: the GOP is more diverse because they have more minority governors than Democrats.
“They have I think two women and minorities. We have seven. And, so, we’re not keeping score but the point is that the people that are coming in,” said McDonnell, causing a round of laughter. “We are keeping score, 30 to 19 though [Republican to Democratic governors]. That’s the score that matters. But the point is the people that are coming in and are now the leaders of our party reflect a much more diverse group than the Democratic governors today.”
What seems to have slipped McDonell’s mind is that American voters don’t give a shit. The GOP here equates ethnic diversity in the political class with a political platform that is cross-ethnic. On balance, voters cast their votes according to the issues that affect them, not according to the color of a politician’s skin. McDonnell also forgets that the recent trend in gubernatorial elections is toward conservatism.
Perhaps the GOP, in a moment of electoral fancy, interpreted President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 electoral wins as evidence that skin color or ethnicity trump issues. Already we are hearing the loud whispers of possible presidential campaigns from Marco Rubio and George P. Bush, because (hush, hush) they’re Latino. Rubio has cache with the Latino population, especially Florida’s strong Cuban lobby, and may benefit from his measured approach on immigration, but the next Bush named George is still a Bush. Don’t expect much deviation from the family line out of the new prodigal Bush son.
The takeaway here is that the GOP has given up on beating the Democrats on the issues. Their new strategy: pull voters in with ethnic identity.