When Nelson Rockefeller dropped out of the Republican presidential race in June 1964, Barry Goldwater was left with an apparently insurmountable delegate lead and, almost certainly, the task of defeating incumbent President Lyndon Johnson.
While he was encouraged to run by President Barack Obama, Democrat Richard Carmona spent the official first day of his Senate race against Republican U.S. Representative Jeff Flake touting endorsements from relatives of Senator Barry Goldwater.
“Here is what you need to impress upon your readers,” Rick Perry said, putting down his barbecue to jab a finger at me. “What happened in Texas over the last decade is not a miracle. Miracles are things that happen, and they’re unexplained. Miracles are what God does.”
The Republican war with President Barack Obama over funding the government and the new health-care law will play out in the coming days and months. The conflict now exposed within the party may shape its future for years.
Ronald Reagan remains the modern Republican Party’s most durable hero. His memory will be hailed as The Great Uncompromiser by those who insist the GOP must never flag in its support for smaller government, lower taxes and conservative social values.