October 3, 2009

Republican North East Conference, Day 1 - Video and Follow-Up

Justin Katz

Following the opening event of the Republican North East Conference (video of which is in the extended entry), I followed up with Vermont Governor Jim Douglas regarding the need to define a "Northeastern Republican": stream, download. His answer wasn't particularly Earth-shattering, but it struck me as astute, in an understated Vermontian way. His emphasis is on local issues and local character, citing the diversity of the country and (therefore) the Republican Party and standing up for moral principle when the opposition forces the issue (as on same-sex marriage).

If I may paraphrase his answers in the terms of the intra-GOP debate: We shouldn't attempt to market a sub-brand of a particular type of Republican for local consumption, emphasizing our difference from Republicans elsewhere; rather, we should prove our character and intentions on issues of direct concern to local constituents and rebuff attempts to tie us to the most extreme statements of any minor Republican figure anywhere in the United States by lauding the inclusiveness of the party and the willingness to work together on matters of agreement.