The startling outcome of the South Carolina primary did more than turn the race for the Republican presidential nomination upside down. It also left GOP voters with a choice that only serves to highlight the party’s year-long identity crisis and search for a standard-bearer.
If the voters have seemed puzzled, it is no wonder. The field of candidates they have examined over the past months has not included anyone who yet seems to possess the attributes that can provide a center of gravity. Now, seemingly, it is down to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, but can either deliver what the party needs?
In some respects, the contest between Romney and Gingrich falls into a familiar construct of Establishment vs. Insurgents, and yet neither candidate is the ideal to play his assigned role, or, more important, to bridge the divides within the party that characterized many primary contests in 2010.Continue reading on www.washingtonpost.com