NewMassPlaybook Gets Look in Today’s Globe

Take a look at the NewMassPlaybook in an Op-Ed from today's Globe


IF STATE Republicans want to win elections next year, they need to have a new playbook.

Last November’s elections showed that the party does not have the type of systematic approach it takes to win statewide elections. Poor showings in urban areas, a deficiency of political talent, and, most importantly, not having an overall plan are three of the main reasons that the party and its candidates lurch from campaign season to campaign season with little success.

A new playbook will also help Senator Scott Brown, who is likely to face a significant challenge for his seat. As good of a job as he has done in Washington this year, he will need to develop fresh ideas in order to get reelected.

Certainly the state GOP’s platform does have good ideas that have proven to resonate with Massachusetts voters. From William Weld and Paul Cellucci through Mitt Romey, Massachusetts voters chose smaller government and fiscal policies that lower taxes as well as more progressive policies, such as RomneyCare.

But times have changed, and the Massachusetts GOP has not changed; as a result, its candidates are being plowed under. In response, a group of Republican activists has been working on a new strategy for the party. The goal is to allocate resources on a more equitable basis; compete in campaigns everywhere, even in urban areas; regain the trust of social conservatives; and unite the party in the name of smaller government, self-reliance, and small business.

This new and innovative concept is a paradigm shift for the party, with a “bottom-up’’ approach that will help develop much-needed equity among Massachusetts Republicans.

It is imperative for the Republican Party to make a profound case to voters that Senator Brown’s victory last January was an important event for the state’s political culture. The electorate deserves to know that viable two-party government is more than a rhetorical ideal. It is also a well-informed political judgment that will keep the Massachusetts congressional delegation relevant in Washington.

Only a new playbook can help the Massachusetts GOP and its candidates become relevant again.

Jim Rappaport is a former chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party.

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