(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Given the protracted battle for the Republican presidential nomination and the regional, ideological and political underpinnings of the four remaining candidates, one might think the GOP is engaged in a pitched battle for the direction, future and soul of the party.
Except it’s not — at least not as a matter of policy and generational leadership.
Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) represents the only attempt of any candidate to drag the Republican Party in a distinctly different direction than that which has defined it at least since Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980. But Paul is not, and never has been, considered a possible winner of the nomination. Of the three remaining candidates who are, or have been considered, viable at one time or another — former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) — virtually nothing separates their plans for the country should they win their party’s nod and defeat President Barack Obama in November. On matters of domestic and fiscal policy — nothing; on matters of social policy — nothing; on matters of foreign policy and national defense, again, nothing. Full story