And significant primary races dot the horizon: In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry (a trailblazer in reducing the size and scope of government) seeks to fend off a challenge from moderate Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. In California, conservative Assemblyman Chuck DeVore seeks to paint former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as an establishment liberal in their race to win the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer. In Florida, former House Speaker Marco Rubio is running for U.S. Senate against moderate Gov. Charlie Crist.
When all is said and done, we will have seen a tug-of-war for the heart and soul of the GOP playing out in three of our largest states (by population). Something to note is that the timeline allows for conservatives to focus and transfer their energies from one state to the next. The Texas primary is in March; three months later the battle shifts to California; after that, it's on to Florida for an August primary.
The Lone Star State is an obvious place for conservatives to partake of a process denied them in NY-23. It's the first of the high-profile primaries and offers a clear choice between candidates: Hutchison, who was just awarded her third "Porker of the Month" demerit from Citizens Against Government Waste, has also been taken to task by the Club for Growth for being among a handful of "Republican Big Spenders." Sarah Palin has already cast her support for Perry, who, though an incumbent, faces a strong challenger in Hutchison.[SNIP]These are three races where the passionate conservative can and should have an influence. Perhaps that's the silver lining for Doug Hoffman. Though his own political resume was a bit thin, DeVore, Rubio and Perry are all seasoned politicians. If you combine their credibility and infrastructure with the conservative energy we saw in NY-23, you will really have something. Like Goldwater, Hoffman didn't win, but he may have jump-started a movement. Losing a battle doesn't have to mean losing the war.
I think that last point is a good one... DeVore, Rubio, and Rick are all a lot more telegenic, experienced, and savvy than Doug Hoffman, but they are all on conservative radar screens as races to win to reclaim the Republican brand as a conservative brand. The best cure for a letdown is a win, and Rick vs. Kay will be the next up on the docket for a lot of the national conservative online peeps. Of those three races Rick probably has the best chance of winning not just the primary but the general, then Rubio, then DeVore... mostly because he is already the incumbent...