Truman’s truism is a little ironic considering “watered-down Republican” Dwight David Eisenhower stomped, thrashed, thumped, and squashed the granddaddy of all “real” Republicans, Ohio’s Sen. Robert A. Taft, to win the 1952 Republican nomination. Not much has changed, however, in the last 50-plus years. The battle between Republicans and those seen as Republican lite is as pitched as ever.
One year ago, the Republican Party was in ruins – rife with internal housecleaning and worried about its future. With no clear leader on the horizon, the GOP began to look outside the beltway for signs of electoral viability. One leader stood out – a man once considered as a potential running mate of John McCain – Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist.