Last Friday at the National Press Club, THE WEEKLY STANDARD and the Washington Examiner held a panel discussion on the 2010 mid-term elections and the future of the GOP. Some highlights:
The panel looks ahead to the 2012 GOP field:
Bill Kristol considers whether or not the GOP will break its pattern of nominating the "next in line," while Fred Barnes says the GOP already has a winning ticket--Jeb Bush and Chis Christie. The problem: neither Republican will actually run. Byron York thinks that Republican voters are hoping that someone new, like a Chris Christie or a Paul Ryan, will throw his hat in the ring and save the GOP. And Michael Barone asks the question on everyone's mind: Will Palin run? Barnes says she's a likely candidate and would do well in early contests such as Iowa and South Carolina, while Kristol suggests Palin might actually throw her support behind another strong conservative vying for the nomination.
In the following section, the panel discusses challenges that the GOP will face in the 112th Congress--namely, producing "real cuts" to spending. An early challenge will be raising the debt ceiling, but Barnes says the GOP has plenty of "wiggle room" on the issue:
And what about the challenges for Obama? Kristol points out that the president--by virtue of having his health care overhaul actually become law--will have a more difficult time putting his first two unpopular years behind him than Clinton did:
And in case you're still looking for more mid-term election analysis, here's Susan Ferrechio on how Joe Manchin won in West Virginia by tacking right, Byron York on Ron Johnson's simple and straightforward campaigning style, and Michael Barone on the "historic" and "unusual" swing in the national popular vote: