Sebastian Payne

The View from 22 – Barack Obama’s hollow victory and remodernising the Tories

Is there something underwhelming about Obama’s reelection? In this week’s cover feature, John O’Sullivan discusses impact of changing demographics of the America electorate and the challenges this poses for the Republicans in 2016. On the latest View from 22 podcast, the Spectator’s assistant editor Freddy Gray and political editor James Forsyth explain why the American right needs to rediscover its purpose:

‘I think eight years ago there was a lot of talk of ‘values voters’ and how Karl Rove had pulled off this amazing masterstroke talking about the culture of life without scaring off people who might be worried about being anti-abortion. But I think that now seems incredibly out of date as an analysis’

‘Part of the problem is self-inflicted wounds on the Republican party. I think the US, the abortion argument is difficult but winnable. When you get into the contraception argument this time around, that is much more difficult and part of the problem for the modern day Republican party is that they consistently makes the perfect from the enemy of the good.

‘Bush could actually hold the evangelical Christians together because he was actually an evangelical Christian. That’s much more difficult for Romney and he felt obliged to go further than was politically advisable.’

James Forsyth also discusses his interview with the founder of Policy Exchange, top Tory moderniser and planning minister Nick Boles and the shift in the Tories’ strategy for 2015:

‘Nick is one of the most important modernisers in the Tory party. What I felt was particularly interesting [about the interview] was how frank about what they got wrong. He essentially concedes they lacked a clear economic message. He said ‘look, I’m not going to plead we didn’t know there was an economic crash coming, but we got carried away in the zeitgeist.

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