Get Paul Ryan out front and center. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is also head of the Republican National Committee's Presidential Trust, so he's precluded from endorsing primary candidates. But once the nomination is locked up, I'd get his endorsement and send him out to campaign, and fast. Ryan is especially good at framing the GOP's pro-growth message in "kitchen table" terms. He's from the blue state of Wisconsin and has a knack for winning debates without offending the other side. Truth be told, all the women I know think he's the best thing the Republican Party's got going for it.
Start looking presidential. On a lighter note, some of the Republican candidates sport outfits I wouldn't let my husband wear out of the house. Women notice things like sweater vests and dad jeans, and not in a good way. (I'm concerned that one of them will appear in wide-wale corduroy pants with little elephants on them.) This isn't a casual Friday wing-ding at the office; it's a vote for our next commander in chief. Wearing a jacket and tie shows respect for the office. .
The Republican Party should be the home of women and independent voters who are concerned with the massive expansion of government we've seen during the Obama administration and are worried about what may lie in store in a second term. Republicans should be making a pro-business case to women and independents for growing the economy, reducing debt, and creating jobs—not going after them over divisive social issues. More women than men vote, and there are more independents than Republicans. Time for the right to make all of them feel welcome.
- See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit
- Read the U.S. News debate: Will the Culture Wars Benefit the GOP in the 2012 Election?
- Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy