"We've got to be a party that's about addition and not subtraction," Pawlenty said Thursday. "In places like Minnesota, the Northeast, the West Coast, the Mountain States, the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes, we don't have a margin of error where we can afford to shrink the party. We want to be growing the party if we're going to win elections and also have the opportunity to govern and make a difference for the country. So this is about expanding market share, not contracting it."
Today well over 2000 Republicans chose delegates to the Republican National Convention. In a long standing process whereby Republicans, usually in much smaller numbers, assemble to send people to the National convention.
This year a local son was going to be the recipient of those delegates, so expectations were high. Couple that with a 3 plus year effort by the libertarian wing of the Republican Party to get delegates to the convention to affect the party platform, and the makings were there for a historic series of events. Today did not disappoint.
What happened today at nine caucus sites, is a positive step for our party. A party apparatus that acts as a rubber stamp for its establishment leaders will not last in the long term. This is one of the reasons for our less than 12% enrollment across this state. Beginning with the State Committee races a new generation of leadership has stood up and said, look at us. Their energy is essential to the continued growth of our party.
As it stands now the self styled Ronald Reagan Unity Slate, the libertarian wing, won 17 of the 27 delegates selected at the nine caucuses today. By party rules 11 more delegates will be selected by the Republican State Committee. Many of these delegates are long standing liberty minded activists, some are new to this process. All 27 have pledged their support to our next president Mitt Romney.
The establishment is understandable shaken by the turn of these events. With big names like Kerry Healey, and Brad Jones not winning in their home district caucuses. They shouldn't be. They should embrace the energy of these "new" people and not turn them away. This wing of the party, if treated with respect, forms a dedicated grassroots army. Their leader is working to ensure they stay involved. It is imperative that the establishment leadership finds a way to work with that bridge builder.
|Who is that bridge-builder? Who is that leader? His name is Brad Wyatt, a school committeeman from Boylston. He is a stalwart activist, and a giver of time and resources. His building, "The Osgood Bradley Building" has become a center for conservative activism in Central Massachusetts. The OBB has been the home of Massachusetts Victory efforts for two cycles now.
Brad is the first person to stress that the home of liberty minded people is the Republican Party. It is by his efforts that hundreds, if not thousands, of people changed their party registration over the past twelve years. He understands that after primary fights, it is time to come together to defeat the enemies of smaller government.
Brad Wyatt, today, moved from out of the shadows and claimed his place as a leader of the Party. He represents a new and growing faction, of liberty minded, small government conservatives. Unlike Carla Howell, Brad is an affable gentle face to the liberty movement, who is dedicated to winning within the framework of a two party system.
The establishment has a choice to make in the coming weeks, be excited about the growth in our party, or circle the wagons. The appropriate choice is to heed Tim Pawlenty's words, and grow the base of this party by embracing, publicly in word and deed the liberty wing of the party.
Onward to November and Victory.