"Four of the most popular governors in the country – Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada – are from states that supported President Obama last year." --Former FL Governor Jeb Bush
Republicans haven't done too well on the national level lately but former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made a compelling case about their positive influence at the state level in this Rare column:
The conventional wisdom coming from the 2012 election was the Republican Party is in decline. We lost on messaging, tone and policies that alienated growing minority communities. What that narrative misses is that conservative principles and Republican leadership are thriving in the states, providing the way forward for the GOP.He notes there are now 30 Republican governors, the most in 13 years, and that Republicans hold a majority of the state seats in 26 states, as they balance budgets and create business-friendly climates to attract new business and jobs. Education and job training are taking a front seat in the race to provide skilled workers.
Governor Bush pointed out the business growth in the southeastern states:
The Southeast is leading a renaissance in American manufacturing. Conservative, pro-growth policies are shifting the major growth corridors to the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Gulf states and the Southeastern industrial belt, according to a major new report for the Manhattan Institute by Joel Kotkin. Boeing Dreamliners now are built in South Carolina. Four of the top six states in Business Facilities’ annual rankings of Automotive Manufacturing Strength are Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. They are home to BMW, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai.Building momentum, he keeps rolling out the facts:
In December, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sasol Ltd., a South African chemical and synthetic fuels company, announced the single largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana history.
Republicans are also balancing the demands of economic vitality and protecting natural resources. While New York continues a moratorium on fracking, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett supports it, boosting a natural gas industry that helps sustain 239,000 direct or indirect jobs.Conservative principles used to govern in a pragmatic style are working, as Governor Bush notes in his conclusion:
The six states through which the Keystone XL pipeline would run not only want it, but so do two-thirds of all Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Yet the White House hasn’t approved it, seemingly because of opposition from environmental groups.
Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio made tough fiscal decisions and took on powerful public-employee unions, but their policies are paying off and their popularity is rising. Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has made education reform a priority, supporting accountability for schools and teachers, higher academic standards, early literacy and school choice. According to a recent New York Times poll, she has the second-highest approval rating among governors up for reelection next year.
Across the country, many other GOP governors and state leaders are making student achievement the focus of education. They are passing and implementing sweeping reforms and allowing for new education innovations to be tried and scaled, including flipped classrooms and blended and online learning that is customized to the student.
The success of conservative principles is the best kept secret in American politics. Media outlets thrive on conflict, and sometimes we are all too willing to oblige. As Republicans, we must focus on a positive message about our success and our vision. Instead of spending all our time and resources saying why President Obama and the Democrats’ ideas are wrong for Americans, we must provide clearly articulated alternatives.Governor Bush's discussion brings positive leadership and issues to the table that are often overlooked or under-reported by the media but that need to be exposed to the public to show what works in governing during these financially difficult times.
American greatness comes from the power of individuals – not the government – to create wealth and opportunity through competition, innovation and empowerment. Not only must we pursue reform, we must do a much better job communicating how these reforms protect and promote the genius of America.