Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bill Simon's Advice on Where Conservatives May Go from Here: Retool

From a WSJ weekend excerpt:

In the wake of Barack Obama's victory, as conservatives ponder how they will use their time "in the wilderness," they could do worse than to emulate Mr. Simon's example.

While there is no question that Bill Simon would prefer conservatives to be in power, he says there is a "silver lining" to the current situation. He is hoping they will use this period for "retooling." "We certainly lost our way with respect to spending discipline," he says, noting that under the past eight years of Republican control, "the federal government got very fat and happy." Sure, he acknowledges cheerfully, "Obama is riding in here with the wind at his back. But he's got a lot of challenges."

With a boyish grin, Mr. Simon tells me he is always optimistic about the future. On his last trip to New York, he ran the marathon. And when it comes to politics, Mr. Simon thinks in terms of the long race too. "If you have a good idea and you have the courage of your convictions, I think Americans welcome you back." History, Mr. Simon says, "is replete with examples of this, like when Reagan ran for governor of California. Two years before that, in '64, Goldwater got cleaned out. Everyone thought the conservative movement was dead. But then Reagan, a rookie, a neophyte who never ran for public office, got elected governor of California."

But read the whole thing.

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