May 11th, 2009
09:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="GOP strategist Nicole Wallace names Sinise and others as possible GOP saviors."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nicolle Wallace, a top adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain’s presidential campaign, is adding a few names to the list of Republicans who might lead the GOP out of the wilderness.

Top among them? Actor Gary Sinise.

Wallace, writing on The Daily Beast, said she first heard the idea from a fellow Republican.

“The natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012,” she wrote. “We will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama’s eloquence.”

Sinise, also a musician, performs for U.S. troops and often champions veterans' causes.

She also named Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno as possible Republican saviors.

“Both have denied any interest in a run for office,” she wrote, “but if their masterful management of Iraq is undermined in any way over the next four years, one could hope that they’d reconsider.”

She said that according to most Republicans she has spoken with, a Republican resurgence would demand a new leader, “as opposed to any one of the politicians on the national stage today rising to the occasion.”

Wallace floated the names because she said there’s only so much soul-searching the Republican party can do without the next great leader, someone like President Obama “who matches the moment and transcends the narrow debates about ideology” while moving the political discourse “away from the past.”

She said the ongoing argument about whether the GOP needs to become more moderate or re-assert its conservative principles is a “media-generated debate” and “a false choice that offers nothing but continued division for Republicans.”

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soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. thetruth

    I dont know if it's been mentioned yet, but what is up republicans and actors. I mean you have Ron Regan, Arnold schwarznegger, Fred Thompson and now Gary Sinse? Not a bad choice but, if most of your star talent comes from the entertainment world/hollywood aka la-la land–what does that say about your values. Methinks republicans are reaching for the stars,with a star, trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

    May 11, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Mike in MN

    I agree, the media and the Democrats are blowing the Republican moderate vs conservative issue out of proportion.

    The party made a moved moderate with the McCain presidential run. Conservatives backed him becasue he was a deficit hawk, pro life and had Palin as VP. This combination kept the Republican moderates and conservatives united.

    In congress the moderates and conservative Republicans have been united on economic and spending votes, voting 99.9% against the Obama out of control spending and massive growth of government. While at the same time submitting Republican alterntatives to the stimulus bill and the budget that held true to Republican ideals of limited government, low taxes and deficit control.

    Specter was not kicked out because he was a social moderate. He was kicked out becasue of his vote on the stimulus bill. And he was not kicked out by party nationals. He was kicked out by his own Republican party voters in PA.

    Republican moderates and conservatives look to be united on limited government, low taxes, deficit reduction, and no more bailouts. And I don't see any fighting over moderate vs conservative social issues. It looks like they are gearing up to hit the Dems where they are weakest in 2010 and 2012 on spending and government growth and tax issues.

    May 11, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Randy S.

    "z-Man May 11th, 2009 9:53 am ET

    Gary Sinise, is an actor, not a canidate to run against President Obama, there is no way he beats him. You need to get someone that can run Washington DC not act like he can"

    You're right, who needs more than exactly what he have now. Someone who thinks they can run DC.

    May 11, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Dave C – NJ May 11th, 2009 11:38 am ET

    Well at least he's smarter than Palin
    Who isn't??!

    May 11, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. bretron

    Lieutenant Dan???!!!! The RNC is seriously in trouble:)

    May 11, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. BILL, WI

    The Republican party needs a new message, not a new face. I guess that would start with learning what people who make 40k and less a year need from government. Let Hollywood types make movies, and keep that star appeal quality in the tabloids.

    May 11, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. geecee

    Too bad, I like him as an actor, but I am a Democrat and do not believe he could win against Obama. On one could. Obama has it wrapped up until 2016. Because Sinese happens to be well-known, since he is an actor, and probably also has a reasonable degree of intelligence, (as compared to, say, Sarah Palin) that doesn't qualify him to run for President. Does he have any other credentials, yet??

    May 11, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Frank, Las Vegas

    Didn't the GOP say the same thing about Fred Thompson? He'll save us, everyone likes him, etc. We all know where that went, without a script and motivation he was pretty unimpressive, and dull. But with the same old message, it doesn't make any difference who's giving it.

    May 11, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sounds like the GOP has come to grips with the fact an effective communicator is one of the many things Palin is not. However, to suggest an actor can stand toe to toe with President Obama is highly unlikely. The GOP is looking at today and not at the four years President Obama will have to his advantage neither do they recognize Obama was light years ahead of the GOP when he campaigned and won.

    May 11, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. M.A

    I love Gary Sinise, I have watched his documentaries on our soldiers fighting in Iraq and loved them........I am a former Democrat turned Independent during the last election cycle.....I would vote for someone like Mr. Sinise in a NEW YORK minute regardless of what party he stands with ...he has been standing for middle AMERICA all of his life....GO GARY 🙂

    May 11, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Tracy

    I like Mr. Sinise, think he's a great actor. However, if he wants to beat Pres. Obama in 2012, he better quickly find a way to get his law degree, lead the Harvard Law Review, get some community activist time in, and a little Senate time. At that point he'll have a background that might qualify him to run against our current and next president.

    May 11, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    I think Gary Sinise is a fine actor but I would seriously question his candidacy for President. The GOP does not need a savior. What the GOP needs is some new constructive ideas on how to fix the mess that they were largely (but not solely) responsible for. And tax cuts and spending cuts don't count as new or constructive ideas.

    May 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Ghost

    This is yet qanother problem with the GOP. they keep throwing names out there before knowing anything about them. I'd be willing to bet they are sorry about sending Jindal out without testing the waters 1st. Claiming Chuck Norris is looking like a great idea right about now. And all we need to do is think about Nov to find perhaps their greatest selection in quite some time.

    But let them continue to look for leadership and a face to represent them while the democrats continue to try and rebuild this country. By the time they get it together, they'll have less memebers than the PTA in Hicksville.

    May 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. JonDie

    "Sinise...often champions veterans' causes."

    Then Sinise should become a Democrat since no respectable Republican, including Senator "Look at me; aren't I great?" John McCain, gives a rat's buttocks about veterans.

    McCain and the Repubs sent most of the US military into harm's ways in Iraq, without body or vehicle armor, and got 50,000 US soldiers needlessly killed or order to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money to big oil companies and contractors like Halliburton...even as the Treasury and the economy went bankrupt (well, it wasn't actually taxpayer money, it was taxpayer debt since the Treasury had no money to give).

    Meanwhile, our real enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan re-grouped and now are on the verge of defeating us. If Sinise wants to help veterans, he can enlist and go to Afghanistan to help pick up the pieces of Bush's folly.

    May 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Linda from Fresno

    I thought the Republicans didn't like Hollywood, why are they turning in that direction NOW, is this another Mike Steele thing. Why don't they nominate Rush Limbaugh then they will fall off the globe. They need to resurrect Lincoln. I'm sure he has more than enough of these Republicans. Begs the question, where is George W. Bush? Or do we care? I think not. Obama is cleaning up his legacy.

    May 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    He's too liberal. We need Rush's favorite, Palin.
    Our only salvation.

    May 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Jackie in Dallas

    I have a great deal of respect for Gary Sinese as an actor. Not knowing too much about his core beliefs, I withhold my opinion of him as a politician, although I DO know he supports Veterans rights. He is, by Hollywood standards, very conservative, but does not appear to buy into the more extreme right. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by Amherst College, but has not earned a degree.

    My question is, if it OK for the GOP to field Reagan, Schwartzenegger, Sinese, and Sonny Bono, why is it NOT OK for the Democrats to field Al Franken? Franken at least attended Harvard College and graduated cum laude in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, while Reagan attended Eureka College, where he majored in economics and sociology, and was very active in sports, including football - but never graduated (or it is disputed whether he graduated). Arnold, by all accounts very intelligent, attended a business school in Austria. There is no indication that he has ever studied for a degree program. Sonny Bono never even finished high school. Yet supporters of these shining stars (pun intended) of the GOP are questioning the qualifications of Al Franken??? What a joke!

    May 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Mary - Independent

    Gary Senise is a great actor and great with the Armed Forces. I truly hope he does not get "dragged in to the GOP". He doesn't deserve the political corruption in Washington!!! The Republicans need to get their "act together" and do their job!

    May 11, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    wow the republicans still won't admit that the party is over and the GOP boys have all gone home to lick their paws and try to hide under the rocks . but a few still try . and to pick an actor is real sad
    the guy does alot for the troops and other good things . hope he doesn't screw his own life up by trying to get the GOP back on track . the Cheney brigade is on a roll and is latching onto whom every they can grab ahold of on the way down the rabbit hole

    May 11, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. TulsaJoe

    It's great to see the GOP recruiting more talented players since their act has sucked for years now...

    May 11, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. mw

    Oh brother. give us a break.

    May 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Samuel B.

    I have great respect for Gary Sinise and what he has done for veterans. That said, the fact that he would even support the Republican party suggests that he's out of touch with what the needs of the average American. Although I doubt even Sinise would be able to reverse the GOP's slide toward oblivion, I am wondering if anyone has vetted him through the great and powerful Rush Limbaugh, leader of the party and arbiter of all that is Republican?

    May 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. MikeTo

    Are they looking for the "Great White Hope"?

    May 11, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. wishing

    What a shame to hear that he has affiliated himself with a party that at times is intolerant and intolerable, and at times both.

    May 11, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. rbinny

    The GOP needs to learn the problem is the message not the person delivering it.

    May 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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