Republicans looking for a new leader have to look no further than Fox News head Roger Ailes, writes Newsweek’s Howard Fineman this week. “Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum—which is why God created Roger Ailes. The president of Fox News is, by default, the closest thing there is to a kingmaker in Anti-Obama America,” Fineman writes. Fox has fueled the conservative populist revolt that is overtaking the party, Fineman says, and the channel will have a front-row seat at the Tea Party convention in Nashville next month. His station’s recent acquisition of Sarah Palin gives “her a second tryout in the Bigs, while simultaneously using her to generate colossal ratings.” Nothing could be more important in the party today.
I’ve been trying to answer this question: does the Republican Party have a “leader”? Surely it’s not Michael Steele, the loose-lipped chairman of the RNC. Not Mitch McConnell, the funereal Kentuckian who heads the Senate’s rejectionist GOP minority. Not Sen. John McCain; he’s too busy watching his own right flank back home in Arizona. And certainly not the Bushes, elder and younger, hunkered down in Texas. As for the 2012 wannabes, none gets more than a fifth of the GOP vote in the early polls. But I finally found my answer while I was watching Fox News Channel.