The Buckley Rule: “Nominate the most conservative candidate who is electable."
Granted, electable does not always mean having to settle for a quizzical or unreliable "moderate."
Yet some candidates, with Tea Party Backing, are not competitve in Blue State New England, where a more moderate, fiscally-conservative Purple Republican is the only viable Republican candidate.
Consider the fate of Mike Castle, a well-known, well-connected Republican (yes, and moderate) who was a shoo-in to take the Senate Seat long-held current Vice President Joe Biden. Christine O'Donnell was uncompetitive.
She was a perfect fit for the Tea Party Brand. Her outstanding conservative views, however, were marred by her embarrasing recurring appearances on Bill Maher's HBO talk show "Real Time". The press also lampooned the financial irregularities in her two previous unsuccessful campaigns for US Senate, plus her loose knowledge of her campaign record in previous contests dissuaded a number of potential voters.
Still, the most crucial factor that torpedoed O'Donnell's run in the general election was her strong right-wing views, which would never sell in a fiscally conservative, socially liberal bastion like Delaware.
Now, with the 2012 Senate elections ramping up, another crowd of committed Conservatives is joining the fray.
Will Principled Partisanship dominate the Republican primaries in New England? Will consistent conservatives outside the Blue State mainstream derail the Republican parties chances to? Will they put aside rigid adherence to every plank of the GOP platform and come together to take back New England?
Committment to limited constitutional government is the essential qualification for any GOP candidate. Let's hope that the GOP voters will factor in this need when selecting a nominee, one with popularity statewide, not just within the GOP.