Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ on line 84

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ on line 107

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ on line 125

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ in /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ on line 154

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ in /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ on line 154

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ in /nfs/c02/h07/mnt/15713/domains/ on line 155
Rebuild the Party | A Plan for the Future

A 10-point action plan to strengthen and modernize the Republican Party

View Comments


The Coalition


Erick Erickson, managing editor, (Macon, GA)

David Kralik (San Francisco, CA)

Mindy Finn, former eStrategy Director, Romney for President

Patrick Ruffini, former Republican National Committee eCampaign Director & co-founder, The Next Right

Mark Harris (Pittsburgh, PA)

Phil Musser, former executive director, Republican Governors Association

Michael Turk, former Republican National Committee eCampaign Director

Justin Sayfie, former spokesman for Gov. Jeb Bush (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Charlie Smith, Chairman, College Republican National Committee Chairman

Blake Harris, Co-Chairman, College Republican National Committee Chairman

Peter Torkildsen, Chairman, Massachusetts Republican Party

Matt Lewis,

Brian Donahue, Jamestown Associates

Mike Krempasky, co-founder

Jon Henke, co-founder, The Next Right

Ben Domenech, co-founder RedState

Kristen Soltis, The Winston Group

Hugh Weber, former RNC Political Education Director

Soren Dayton, co-founder, The Next Right

Tiffany Shorter, HipHopRepublican

Albert Maruggi, former RNC Press Secretary (St. Paul, MN)

Scott Dismuke, AkinsCrisp Public Strategies (Nashville, TN)

Robert Willington, Executive Director, Massachusetts Republican Party

Joe Galli, former College Republican National Committee Chairman (Flagstaff, AZ)

Clint Murphy, Georgia State Director, McCain-Palin 2008

Christopher A. Keber (New York, NY)

Dan Bayens, Strategy Group Media

William Grayson (San Francisco, CA)

Scott Graves, (Orange County, CA)

Sean Doughtie, Taproot Creative (Tallahassee, FL)

Alex Brunk, Wilson Research Strategies

David Mastio,

Tim Cameron (Atlanta, GA)

Katie Witt, 2008 candidate for Colorado State Senate (Longmont, CO)

Clayton Wagar, co-founder,

Dan Spencer,

Adam Schmidt,

Nick DeLeeuw,

Matt Briney, Emotive LLC

Aaron Marks,

James Clarkson,

Billy Valentine, former director, Students for Brownback

Vince Galko, former executive director, Pennsylvania Republican State Committee

Madeline Gorman Holbrook, RNC Communications, 2002-2003

Matt Moon, contributing editor, The Next Right

J. Peter Freire

Jill Warren, The Patriot Group

Sally Canfield, former policy director, Mitt Romney for President

Tim Griffin, Griffin Public Affairs and The Griffin Room

Kimberly Mosser, 2008 Republican National Convention

Ethan Eilon, executive director, College Republican National Committee

Chris Healy, chairman, Connecticut Republican Party

Heath Fahle, executive director, Connecticut Republican Party

Stephanie Klick, chairman, Tarrant County (TX) Republican Party

Steven Ertelt,

Jonathan Klinger, Students for Victory

Bethany Dorobiala, chairman, Minnesota College Republicans

Katie Harbath, former eCommunications director, Republican National Committee

Eric Earling,

Aaron Margolis, Hub Politics

Meghann Parlett, Leadership Institute

Bill Pascoe, The Foundation for American Freedom

Joel Dykstra, 2008 U.S. Senate nominee from South Dakota

Curt Mercadante, Revere Strategy Group

S.E. Cupp, author, "Why You're Wrong About the Right"

John McClellan, communicators director, Ohio Republican Party

Justin Hart, VP Communications, Lighted Candle Society

Rod D. Martin, and National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Melissa Clouthier, Right Wing News

Gary Andres, vice chairman, Dutko Worldwide

Matt Burns, communications director, 2008 Republican National Convention

Moshe Starkman,

Blake Waggoner, republican consultant

Jason Kenney, executive director, RedStormPAC

Gary Aminoff, president, San Fernando Valley Republican Club

David Almacy, former White House Internet & E-Communications Director

Michael Tate, communications director, Penn College Republicans

Kristen Luidhardt, The Prosper Group

Kurt Luidhardt, The Prosper Group

Joshua Sharf, former Candidate for Colorado State House,

Bill Hobbs, communications director, Tennessee Republican Party

Brian J. Hoyt, former Veterans Outreach Director, Ohio Republican Party and Victory 2008

Kevin Aylward, founder, Wizbang

Dennis Lennox, drain commissioner, Cheboygan County, Michigan

Jonathon Snyder, chairman, Ohio College Republican Federation

Matt Wharton, state chairman, Arizona Federation of College Republicans

Michael Brodkorb, former research and communications director, Republican Party of Minnesota

Bruce Hawkins, Iowa Straw Poll Manager for Mike Huckabee

William Westmiller, national chairman, Republican Liberty Caucus

K. Ryan James, deputy director of communications, 2008 Republican National Convention

Rudy Perciful, chairman, Louisiana Federation of College Republicans

Bill Schickel, Iowa Republican Central Committee

Vincent Harris, internet director, Senator Cornyn Campaign

Kevin DeWine, deputy chairman, Ohio Republican Party

Michael Illions, co-executive director, Conservatives with Attitude!

Ken Blackwell, former 2006 nominee for Ohio Governor

Karen Townsend,

Jeff Timmer, executive director, Michigan Republican Party

Ali A. Akbar, Republic Modern Media

Eric Opiela, executive director, Republican Party of Texas

Robin Smith, chair, Tennessee Republican Party

As Republicans, we face a choice.

Either we can spend the next several months -- or years -- trying to figure out what just happened, excusing our defeat away as a temporary blip or the result of a poor environment, and waiting for Barack Obama to trip up. Or we can refuse to take this defeat lying down, and start building the future of our party now.

2008 made one thing clear: if allowed to go unchecked, the Democrats' structural advantages, including their use of the Internet, their more than 2-to-1 advantage with young voters, their discovery of a better grassroots model -- will be as big a threat to the future of the GOP as the toxic political environment we have faced the last few years.

The time is now to set in motion the changes needed to rebuild our party from the grassroots up, modernize the way we run campaigns, and attract different, energetic, and younger candidates at all levels.

We must be conservative in philosophy -- but bold in our approach. We don't need a slight tweak here or there. We need transformation. We can't keep fighting a 21st century war with 20th century weapons.

This is a document about bringing the Republican Party into the future -- and it isn't just about strategies and tactics.

Revitalizing the party will have much to do with how we talk about issues and standing on principle. And, above all, it will require leadership.

At the same time, waiting for a political savior to materialize out of thin air is not an option. Eventually, strong new leaders will emerge. And when they do, they must inherit a party stronger than the one in its current state. Our grassroots must be stronger and more open. We must inspire young leaders to want to run for office as Republicans.

We are asking all the candidates for RNC Chairman to pledge their support for this plan as a starting point for our way out of the wilderness.

Our focus will not end with the current party leadership race. We will continue advancing the tenets of this plan throughout the next election cycle. We will hold our leaders accountable for implementing the plan. And we'll continue to refine with feedback from smart, up-and-coming leaders in the GOP, and help our local parties implement this strategy at the local level.

Change starts now. Complacency is no longer an option.

The Internet: Our #1 Priority in the Next Four Years

Winning the technology war with the Democrats must be the RNC's number one priority in the next four years.

The challenge is daunting, but if we adopt a strongly anti-Washington message and charge hard against Obama and the Democrats, we will energize our grassroots base. Among other benefits, this will create real demand for new ways to organize and route around existing power structures that favor the Democrats. And, you will soon discover, online organizing is by far the most efficient way to transform our party structures to be able to compete against what is likely to be a $1 billion Obama re-election campaign in 2012.

Our near loss in the 2000 election sparked the 72 Hour program, after a brutal realization that we were being out-hustled in GOTV activities in the final days. Our partial success in the 2000 election didn't blind us to the need for change, and our eyes must be wide open now. Barack Obama and the Democrats' ability to build their entire fundraising, GOTV, and communications machine from the Internet is the #1 existential challenge to our existing party model.

Change is never easy, but as in the post-2000 period, it begins with tough love and a focus on what must be done at the local level.

What's Wrong -- And How to Fix It

Changing the Way We Run the Party

Everywhere we look, we see ordinary Americans using the connective power of the Internet to organize and take control of party politics. Look at what happened in our own primary with Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee coming out of nowhere largely with the help of the Internet, winning surprising political and fundraising victories. Before the Internet, Barack Obama would never have defeated Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic nominee and the next President.

The power of traditional connections is being replaced by the power of mass connectedness. Politics is taking place on a grander stage than ever before, with millions, and not just tens of thousands -- participating directly in the process. Millions of people can not only vote, but they can organize with each other across geographic boundaries to build political power in real time. Their sheer scale allows them to rapidly outflank traditional power brokers in a way that simply wasn't possible before.

The Republican Party can no longer survive in a modern era if we resist this new reality. With our power in Washington waning, our grassroots are the source of our greatest strength -- not a problem to be managed. To revitalize ourselves, we must invite the crowd back in and tap their energy and creativity.

This isn't just about the Internet -- it's about recognizing that in a people-powered era, with the power of technology-empowered grassroots movements on the rise -- everything about the way we mobilize voters changes. Campaign plans that called for a few hundred or thousand volunteers making phone calls in the final days are hopelessly quaint and limiting in an era when millions of people want to feel connected and involved 24/7.

What's Wrong -- And How to Fix It

Recruiting a New Generation of Candidates

Thus far, we've talked about building a better rocket to launch our party into orbit. But we are mindful of the fact that our candidates are the rocket fuel that gets us there. Without inspiring candidates with clear messages to rally around, all the strategies and tactics in the world will be for naught.

What's Wrong -- And How to Fix It


Afterword: The Politics of Us

Obama's victory could be a blessing in disguise for conservatives. Why? Because Obama's winning strategy was built on the back of an inherently conservative idea: that we the people, acting together outside of government, can accomplish great things. Or, in the words of the overused slogan, "Yes We Can."

The irony here is that Obama as President would act in ways that contradict the bottom-up culture that fueled his campaign. In the campaign, it was "Yes We Can." In the White House, it will be "Yes, Government Can." Obama's top-down government control of the health care and the economy will give conservatives an opening to once again recapture the mantle of distributed citizen activism.

Obama campaigned against the establishment, and now he is the establishment.

Consider these contrasts. Like the Internet, free markets are distributed and allow good ideas to rise from the bottom up. The bureaucracies that Obama prefers are inherently top-down and stifling.

And yet Democrats have been allowed to get away with the notion that their success online is fueled by a "bottom-up" culture while Republicans are "top-down." Ironic -- given that Democrats want top-down government control of your life, while Republicans believe in dynamic markets and a strong civil society.

Some people believe our problems are mostly strategic and tactical. Others believe they are policy driven. It strikes us that there is a unifying solution to both, and that is to empower the individual, trust the people.

Just as Republicans must trust individuals and families with their own money, we must trust the volunteers who walk into our headquarters and train them to take responsibility for entire neighborhoods. We must trust the online grassroots who want to take action on our behalf, and who need a decentralized, peer-to-peer volunteer community supported by our campaigns to really be successful. That will require giving up some control -- more control than our traditional institutions are used to giving up -- in exchange for an exponentially larger and more effective volunteer/donor/activist ecosystem.

Obama tapped the Internet successfully because he made it about "you" and "us" not "me" and "I." You were invited in. You were a key part of his campaign/movement. Your help was truly appreciated. Republican candidates need to grow more comfortable talking in these terms and focus less on being inaccessible objects of hero worship (the "me/I" strategy).

Because of the Internet, "us" becomes a force more powerful than any in politics. The ability to donate or volunteer instantaneously online gives the millions of "us" more leverage than even the most connected group of insiders. Only "us" will be powerful enough to fund the first $1 billion Presidential candidate. By embracing the Politics of Us, the Republican Party can rediscover its roots as the party of individual liberty and build a truly modern political army.

#dsq-add-new-comment, #dsq-comments-count, #dsq-content, #disqus_thread { padding: 0px; background: #fff; color: #000; } View the discussion comments powered by Disqus //= 0) { query += 'url' + i + '=' + encodeURIComponent(links[i].href) + '&'; } } document.write(''); })(); //]]> | Our Team | Action Network | Blog | Submit Your Idea |