In the interests of transparency, I am just saying now that I am leaning towards Sarah Palin for the Republican nomination. I am fine with almost every other candidate, values wise, except Romney. That being said, there are more and less electable individuals.
The best way for Republicans to engage the people in 2012 lies in following part of the 1980 game plan. All out optimism. Reagan understood that after four years of malaise and crisis of confidence that Americans wanted to hear about greatness again. Obama's approach has not been hand wringing, but downright anger directed at his predecessor, Republicans, and even Democrats who are not on the same page as The Won.
We cannot have any thoughts that our current problems are a reality that Americans just have to expect. Americans are losing faith that they can work towards their dreams and the blame for that lies in overregulation and overtaxation. We still have resources and an educated, hard working population. The potential is always there for our best days to lie ahead, but we have to vote for real change for positive results.
Personally, I think that this strategy will work very well for Sarah Palin and a few of the other candidates. Not everyone can pull off the full court press on optimism. However, Palin can. Her personality and image would help to make strong expressions of optimism genuine and not simply talk. Like I said, a few others can also pull this off effectively, not just Palin.
This approach was called naive in 1980 by jaded Washington types, but it was what Americans needed to hear. Not only did it elect a president, but it laid the groundwork for the striking and stunning turnaround of the early 1980s. Optimism must be the theme for the next eighteen months to bring about a landslide victory.