Republicans Survey the Ruins
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gestures as he delivers remarks during an election night rally in Phoenix Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sen. John McCain gestures as he delivers his concession speech at an election night rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP)

Listen to Republicans talk about their morning-after nightmare — looking at the map of Tuesday’s election results — and you know they’ve got trouble:

“Drubbing” … “Deep wilderness” … “Steep hill to climb” … “Ruins.”

After decades of dominance in American politics, the GOP is on the outs in the House, the Senate, and the White House. Back on its heels in state after state it once owned. Uncertain that its old alliance of cultural, economic, and security hawks still works. Talking rebirth, but around who? Palin? Pawlenty? Jindal?

On Tuesday, the new face of America, the young and minorities, came out to vote Democrat. Today, top Republicans are convening in Virginia to talk about the party’s future. How do they grow the ranks? Bring in new voters? Create a new message that resonates?

This hour, On Point: The Republican Party in defeat and debating how to rebuild. We’ll talk to conservative thinkers about the way forward.

You can join the conversation. In what direction would you like to see the Republican party go? What can they do to regain the trust of conservative Americans?


From Arlington, Virginia, we’re joined by Jonathan Martin, senior political writer for Politico. His piece today looks at the “GOP in dire straits.”

Also with us from Arlington is Tony Fabrizio, partner with Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, a research and consulting firm. In 1996 he served as chief pollster and GOP strategist to Bob Dole’s presidential campaign. His recent analysis of the Republicans’ 2008 troubles was titled, “Top GOPers: It’s Bush and Rove’s fault.”

From Washington we’re joined by Peter Berkowitz. He’s a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He served as a senior advisor on foreign policy for Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign.

And with us from San Diego, California, is Roger Hedgecock. He’s a nationally syndicated talk-show host based in San Diego. For more than a decade he served as Rush Limbaugh’s top fill-in host. He’s the former mayor of San Diego and author of a series of campaign issue books called “The 2008 Conservative Voter’s Field Guide.”

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