York: ‘Everyone Seems a Little Embarrassed’

Byron York just got off the phone…

I just got off the phone with a very plugged-in Republican strategist who told me that Republican reaction to President Obama’s speech, which the party will roll out in the next few days, will mark the beginning of a new GOP approach to opposing the president’s initiatives.� (No, Bobby Jindal’s ineffective response was not part of that new approach — everyone seems a little embarrassed about that.)� The Republican leadership in the House has concluded that in the stimulus debate, the GOP succeeded in dominating a number of news cycles but failed to score any points on actual policy.� That, the leaders believe, has got to change.

“You’re seeing a major doctrinal shift in how Republicans are going to focus all these debates,” the strategist told me.� “The key is to focus on winning the issue as opposed to winning the political moment.� If you win the issue, people will think you are ready to govern.”

I asked him to elaborate a little.� “With the political moment, it’s how can you find the one thing that gives you the momentary upper hand in terms of the coverage for the next six hours — as opposed to engaging the electorate in creating a structural change in their opinion on which party is better able to handle an issue.”

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