William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






JINDAL ON THE GOP – AT 9:25 A.M. ET:  One of the most vital political stories in the next year will be the GOP's attempt to rebound, rebuild and move toward victory.  One person determined to play a major role is the great governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.  And Jindal is administering tough love to his party:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party" on Thursday as GOP leaders promised fundamental changes to help stave off future losses.

In the keynote address at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting, Jindal said the GOP doesn't need to change its values but "might need to change just about everything else we are doing."

"We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults," he said.

"We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we've had enough of that."

Jindal, thought to be a potential 2016 presidential contender, offered little detail in the 25-minute address. He called on conservatives to shift their focus from Capitol Hill number crunching to "the place where conservatism thrives — in the real world beyond the Washington Beltway."

Hours before the speech, Republican leaders promised to release in March a report, dubbed the "Growth and Opportunity Project," outlining recommendations on party rules and messaging designed to appeal to a rapidly changing American electorate. President Barack Obama's November victory was fueled, in part, by overwhelming support from the nation's Hispanic, Asian and African-American communities.

"Losing is not fun. We want to win," said GOP strategist Sally Bradshaw, who is among five people appointed by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to craft the report.

"I think you're going to see a very renewed, aggressive effort by this party to put on a different face," Bradshaw said. "We are going to go into areas that we do not go into and see folks that we do not see."


GOP strategist Ari Fleischer suggested that his party could learn an important lesson from Democrats on messaging: "Republicans talk policy and Democrats talk people. Republicans can learn a little bit from Democrats on how to make those people connections with our policies."

Asked whether he was considering a presidential bid in 2016, Jindal brushed aside the question. "Any Republican that's thinking about talking about running for president in 2016 needs to get his head examined," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do."

He called on conservatives to stop fighting with Democrats on their terms about the size of government in Washington and focus instead on connecting with voters across the nation.

"Today's conservatism is completely wrapped up in solving the hideous mess that is the federal budget, the burgeoning deficits, the mammoth federal debt, the shortfall in our entitlement programs," he said. "We seem to have an obsession with government bookkeeping. This is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play."

COMMENT:  He is so right.  Republicans are simply stuck with the image of an old white guy with a green eyeshade sitting under a bare bulb going over the tax records.  We can do better than that.  Think Reagan.  Think the GOP governors like Scott Walker who are revolutionizing whole states.

We must define the Dems correctly.  They are not progressive, they are regressive.  They yearn to go back to the tie-dyed days of the sixties.  We must define ourselves in terms of the future, and offer a vision of opportunity, growth, and a wise, strong foreign policy. 

Jindal gets it.  It's not the basic message that's wrong, it's the way it's delivered and, in many cases, the people who are delivering it.

January 25, 2013