William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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BOBBY – AT 9:16 A.M. ET:  It certainly didn't take long for Republicans to come roaring out of the gate after the recent election, and start positioning themselves for 2016.  Good!  That is great.  No moping, no complaining.  Just get on with the battle.  Marco Rubio, as we reported, has already gone to Iowa.  Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire seems to be all over.  The guard is changing.  A new team is coming.

And one of the most striking has been Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  He has done a great job in Louisiana, and clearly has higher ambitions.  He also has been refreshingly blunt in speaking to his own party about its deficiencies: 

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says the Republican Party needs to go back to basics to attract the broad coalition of voters credited with putting President Barack Obama back in the White House.

"If we want people to like us, we have to like them first," Jindal said on "Fox News Sunday."

And...

Jindal, the incoming chair of the Republican Governors Association and a potential presidential candidate in 2016, on Sunday said slighting people simply isn't good politics.

"You don't start to like people by insulting them and saying their votes were bought. We are an aspirational party," he said.

Jindal said the Republican Party needs to convince voters it is the party of the middle class and upward mobility. Its conservative principles "are good for every single voter" and it "has to campaign for every single vote," he added.

"We also don't need to be saying stupid things," Jindal said, referring to GOP Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana who lost their races after comments about rape that were widely criticized.

COMMENT:  Jindal has to be right at the top of the list of GOP prospects, along with Rubio.  Republicans control 30 of the 50 statehouses.  Thus, the Republican bench for 2016 is deep and will be experienced.  By contrast, the Democratic bench seems to consist of Hillary Clinton and her fellow New Yorker, Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Oh yes, there's also party darling and Tonto impersonator Elizabeth Warren, goddess of the universe. 

First, though, the GOP must demolish the Dems in the 2014 midterms.  The new bench of presidential candidates will get their first real test then, campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates, and testing their own performance on the stump.

Our best days are ahead of us.

November 19, 2012