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The New (and old) Faces of the Republican Party

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The recently announced resignation of Sarah Palin as governor of Alaska has everyone scratching their heads as to why she would do something like that. It also puts into question as to who might be the future face of the Republican party.

Since Obama's election last year many have tried to position themselves as the new face of the Republican party. Of the most prominent names to place themselves in front of cameras and microphones condemning every step Obama made, (this tactic was supposed to endear them to the Republican base) it was three old faces and one new one who dominated the news.

Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker and leader of the "Republican Revolution" in 1994, seemed to be appearing on every talk show and doing interviews for every magazine on every political topic. He has not declared his intentions to run for president, however, it is clear that he is positioning himself for that possibility if it seems to him that the timing is right.

There don't seem to be many jumping on the Newt bandwagon though. Appearing on "The View", John McCain's daughter, Meghan, fretted that unless the Republican party veers left it will become obsolete. She dismisses Carl Rove, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich as old and out of touch with young voters. "You've had your eight years, now go away," she said.

Speaking of former Vice President Dick Cheney, he likewise has been taking every opportunity to take pot shots at president Obama, particularly about national security claiming Obama's distaste for torture and his desire close the prison at Guantanamo is a sign of weakness. But the man many like to refer to as "Darth Vader" doesn't have anyone wishing he'd run. Most just seem to want him to shut up.

The third "old face" to come forward trying to lead a party that seems to be wandering the desert looking for a leader was an unlikely one, Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh has made a career out of comedic trash talking of everything Democratic or liberal leaning on his daytime talk show on AM radio. Most of his listeners, however, take him seriously. So, when he publicly stated that he wishes that Obama would fail it created a stir that thrust him into a leadership position of a party that desperately needs a leader.

Limbaugh's self coronation as leader of the Republican party has Democrats wringing their hands with glee, however. They see him as the poster boy of everything that's wrong with the Republican party, personifying the "angry white man" who wraps himself in the flag and says he loves America but whose actions and words indicate that he hates most Americans.

Of course, the "new face" referred to earlier is not really a new face at all, Sarah Palin. Unfortunately for the Republican party the one seen by many as the rock star of the party able to draw crowds anywhere, anytime, who had party leaders drooling at having their own Obama, shocked everyone last week with her announcement that she is resigning her post as governor of Alaska more than a year before the end of her first term.

Many see this action as taking her out of any possible run at the White House. Her opponents are just laughing at the wacky world that is Sarah Palin's and enjoying her self destruction.

Palin's action leaves a bigger void than ever at the top of a party that seems like a ship without a rudder. There are many wannabees to lead the Republican party but they just seem to be dropping like flies. This is a political party that just seems to be finding new ways to embarrass itself.

Enter governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford. Seen by many as a potential presidential candidate he became the latest victim of a mind-boggling sexcapade when he announced his affair with a woman in Argentina.

Enter Joe the plumber. Not heard from lately he will surely surface once again to proclaim himself a watchdog of Washington or a political strategist or journalist or something else and garner some more TV time while doing so. Is there anyone who takes this guy seriously other than himself?

Adding to the long list of potentials is Florida governor Crist. Don't feel bad if you've never heard of him. That's how far down the list party faithfuls are having to go to find someone, anyone who will come forward to lead them.

Then there is former Congressman and now TV commentator/talk show host Joe Scarborough. He at least has a handle on the reality of the situation and is well-known. On the Today Show recently he stated, "...the problem is the conservative party, the Republican party, stopped being conservative eight years ago. Republicans didn't get drubbed in '06 and '08 because they were too conservative. They got drubbed because they were too radical. They spent too much money, they engaged in military adventurism and their rhetoric was too hard...the focus is on Reagan's temperament. Reagan didn't hate. It was conservatism with a smile. And there were a lot of conservatives out there right now that can find the middle of America temperamentally. That's what we need more than ever."

The Republican party would do well to listen to Scarborough's analysis. To many Americans the Republican party has become the party of TEA-baggers, abortion doctor killers, sex scandals, secessionists, and haters of anything or anyone not perceived to be conservative.

Unfortunately for the Republican party they just seem to be trying the same thing over and over that got them into this mess and expecting different results. That is why the de facto media arm of the party, Fox News, "...Is the home to the Limbaughs, Palins, Wurzlebachers, Becks, Hannitys, O'Reillys, etc., who, due to the absence of real political leadership, are the new faces of the Republican Party." (

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough (more...)

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