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To win again--to make America great and growing again--requires a return to the spirit and substance of Eisenhower and Reagan. We Republicans will not win national elections if we do not broaden our appeal in the way these giants did. Nor will we govern well if we refuse to make principled compromises when necessary, the kinds of compromises that led Ike and Reagan to historical greatness.
No one is confusing Christie's political gifts with Reagan's, and it is hard to see how he could win a Gipper-like landslide in 2016. But he did something this week that no GOP politician has done convincingly since the Reagan era: he dominated the middle of a Democratic electorate.
Will Republicans around the U.S. reach the same conclusion that so many Republicans and Democrats in New Jersey did--that the gruff-talking Jersey boy may not be a beauty, but in the words of the Boss, he may just be all right?
A big question with big stakes. Welcome to the storm after the storm after the storm.
Scarborough is a co-host and the creator of MSNBC's Morning Joe and from 1995 to 2001 was a member of the House of Representatives. His new book, The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again (Random House), goes on sale Nov. 12.