McKenna, on a statewide farewell tour of his satellite offices and newspaper editorial boards, said Wednesday he plans to volunteer for a GOP presidential candidate who understands the national party must rebrand itself or risk being doomed to “irrelevance.”
He told the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board the party has to find ways to broaden its appeal to communities of color, women and young voters. The party also needs to mirror the winning re-election campaign of President Barack Obama in the use of data to identify voters and mobilize to get those voters to the polls.
McKenna hasn't appeared before our editorial board—our door's always open for you, Rob!—but it's always interesting to hear a candidate talk candidly about his or her party, even in hindsight. And sure, he's talking about national party politics but clearly the same advice could be applied to his own failed campaign. If he truly has learned from his last year of flubs, fantastic! We need more enlightened Republicans acknowledging that their current trajectory is a short path to irrelevance.
But his use of the word "rebrand" troubles me here—it feels more like an acknowledgment of shitty campaigning than a proposal to fix the terrible platforms his party espouses—platforms that hurt women and the elderly and communities of color.
So if McKenna's big lesson here is the GOP needs to get better at biting their tongues—or adding a Nike swoop to the elephant's ass—he hasn't learned anything at all.