The GOP's tall order for broader appeal in 2016

The typical argument between the Republican establishment and the conservative movement is pretty much irrelevant here. An establishment candidate who reinforces the perception of an elitist, out-of-touch, ethnically homogeneous party is not the answer. Neither is a candidate of conservative purification who has little appeal beyond core constituencies. The RNC autopsy is an establishment document calling for a revolution against the image and message of an establishment party — a plea to reach beyond the base before the GOP is overwhelmed by economic, cultural and demographic change.

Christie, with serious blue-collar appeal, might address the Republican class problem — unless he is out of his class. So far, his presidential indecision has allowed him to avoid comment on topics from immigration to the Islamic State. And it is an open question how his regional vividness will play in other regions of the country. (Recall Rudy Giuliani.) Jeb Bush, who has been called an “honorary Hispanic,” might address the Republican demographic problem — unless his support for comprehensive immigration reform and the Common Core educational standards provoke too much unfavorable conservative enthusiasm. And Republicans might, at some point, realize that Sen. Marco Rubio (who is doing serious policy speeches while others play Hamlet) manages to address both the class and demographic problems at once — unless it is a political problem to be confused for a very bright and earnest college student.