Rich Lowry has an excellent piece on the adults in the Republican Party - and no, the list does not include Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell or John Boehner. While I think he oversells the case on Gov. Christie - I love the bluntness of his public comments, but think he overdoes it occasionally - the point Lowry makes is simple: we need serious people and serious solutions to lead the nation right now.
There is another key point to make as well: Gov. Daniels and Gov. Christie ran on the things they are doing right now. They offered solutions to their constituents and now they are delivering. It makes me a little nervous when national GOP leaders are so reluctant to offer a plan to the American people. They often talk of "repeal and replace" when it comes to health care, but replace with what? Paul Ryan's Roadmap isn't perfect, but it's at least a hell of a great place to start.
Same thing goes here in Wisconsin. The state party should be offering a consistent message, but we aren't. Yes, Gov. Doyle was a terrible governor and he certainly is going to leave his successor with a giant mess, but we might as well start proposing a way to fix it now.
Look, I know I say this a lot but at a certain point you've got to say what you are going to do. The number one question I got campaigning in '08 was "What are you going to do about it?" What "it" is does not really matter. Whether you were discussing jobs, health care, or the budget people respond to specifics, and I don't mean talking points like cutting taxes or cutting spending - give people specifics and they'll know you are serious. You phrase it in easy to understand language, but you offer specifics. If you don't want to offer specifics, at least put things into the perspective of how it impacts individuals.
If we do this right and deliver on the message we should have, we can transform Wisconsin. If we don't I'm afraid that at best it will be like the final scene in The Candidate, when Robert Redford - after having pulled off a David and Goliath upset in a US Senate race - asks his campaign manager, Peter Boyle, "What do we do now?"
That's not a question we should have to ask ourselves. If we are the adults, we'll know what to do.