Thursday, December 17, 2015

Can This Really Be Donald Trump’s Republican Party?

Thomas B. Edsall
DEC. 16, 2015, NYT

John Feehery, a prominent Republican lobbyist with roots on the South Side of Chicago, understands that he embodies the Republican predicament.

He warns that while the party’s establishment used to be able to call the shots when it came to the selection of presidential nominees,
We are now living in a post-recession world where fundamental assumptions have changed. In this new reality, Republicans can’t just do the bidding of big donors. Our guys are too in tune with donors and not with the concerns of regular voters. Donald Trump has tapped into a new reality.
Raised in a middle-class Irish-Catholic family, Feehery graduated from Marquette in 1986 and rose quickly in the ranks of the party. His most prominent jobs were as communications director for the former House majority leader Tom DeLay and later for House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Since giving up work as a staffer in 2005, Feehery, 52, has done well. He is president of the public relations arm of QGA Public Affairs, a major Washington lobbying firm. QGA’s clients include AT&T, United States Steel, State Farm and Zurich Financial Services.

Feehery believes that as Democrats have made gains among well-educated and relatively affluent whites, Republicans “have to rely much more on the white working class than on white upper middle-class voters.”

When I asked Feehery what the party needed to do to get back on track, he paused and said, “I’m not sure it’s fixable.”

(More here.)

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