About Those Triumphant Republican Governors

As expected, there’s been a whole lotta talk since Election Day about how a new, exciting future for the Republican Party lies in the hands of its problem-solving, idea-hungry governors, who kicked butt on November 6 and are rarin’ to go fix their national party. The meme has been greatly promoted during the current meeting of the Republican Governors’ Association in Las Vegas, where political reporters have gathered to glean wisdom from the mighty solons of conservative state governance.

Here’s a very typical quote that New Jersey’s Chris Christie fed to Politico‘s Kevin Robbilard:

“The leaders of the Republican Party are going to be Republican governors,” [Christie} said. “One of the reasons you have 30 Republican governors in America, and why we’re the only organization to add Republican strength — House lost members, Senate lost members, we lost the presidency, we went up from 29 to 30 Republican governors — is because people see us getting things done.”

Well, to be a bit more accurate about it, Republican governors made a net gain of one position because 8 of the 11 governorships up in 2012 were held by Democrats. Of these eleven races, the Cook Political Report rated six as competitive (either tossups or leaning one way or the other). Democrats won five of them. It wasn’t exactly a butt-kicking, was it?

Christie went on to say this:

“I don’t think this is a core philosophical examination we have to go through,” he said. “What this is is about doing our jobs, and people expect that if they give you the privilege of serving. Do your job.”

And that shows what all this gubernatorial frenzy is really about: just another way to deny the GOP has to change.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.