Rising Republican leaders shine brightest at RNC, steal the show

Presidential conventions are meant to belong to the party’s nominee. It is the time when the top of the ticket presents a vision to the American electorate and takes center stage, quite literally and figuratively. And, while presidential nominee Mitt Romney was the headliner of the Republican National Convention, conspicuous throughout the four-day extravaganza was the party’s “bench,” its roster of rising young superstars and reformers.

As Romney assumes his new post as leader of the Republican Party, this younger leadership generation mostly from outside the Beltway is perhaps his best weapon as he seeks the presidency, and if successful, to govern boldly.

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel noted that the Republican “party’s transformative spirit is already on vivid display, thanks to a crop of reformist Republican governors. With the GOP stymied in Washington, these state leaders – from Chris Christie in New Jersey to Scott Walker in Wisconsin – have become the heart of the conservative movement, many pursuing the sort of thorough overhauls of government once considered impossible.”

She added, “In many cases, the changes are already showing dramatic, positive economic results. Think of the reform governors as the vanguard of the far-reaching policy reforms that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan now want to bring to the national arena.”

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(Brian Calle is a columnist and editorial writer for the Orange County Register and editor of CalWatchdog. Originally posted on his blog, Uncommon Ground.)