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. barbati

    He certainly seems to have media appeal. But will Rush and Dick let him into the party?

    May 11, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. The Unshrub

    And next week the great republican savior will be who?

    May 11, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Robbi

    What about Mr. Sinise's policy positions? Would he return the GOP to fiscal common sense? Or would he merely continue the extreme radicalization being pursued currently by the likes of Rush? The original, foundational tenets of the GOP rang true to me for decades, but the move has been a gradual shift away from those truths. Now the talk is of small government, but the conflicting actions support legislating morality. The talk is of lower taxes, but only after years of insane spending. Please, tell us what Mr. Sinise represents. As the matter currently stands, I've found it necessary to move to Independent as it appears moderate conservatives are no longer welcome in the GOP.

    May 11, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Darryl

    Odd how all of Obama's negatives before the election 1) lack of political experience, 2) being a "savior", 3) smooth talker, are now so positive that the Republicans have made them their sole criteria for manufacturing a savior of their own. This, on the same day Cheney declares Colin Powell no longer a Republican. Keep on bein' you, Republicans!

    May 11, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Nathan,

    The next "new leader" of the Republican party will not be new because he or she will have to have the same ideas as the old republican leaders. The republicans can't change and won't except anyone who wants to break away from take care of the rich first mentality the pervasive in the party. If you're not strictly pro life, against flag burning, against taxing the rich, against having a good reason to go to war, then you won't make it to the hierachy of the republican party. Every prominent leader meaning Limbaugh, Hannity and the like says that there is no room for moderates in the party. This means the next leader will have to come from the right.

    These morons act as if its a popularity contest. has it occured to these geniusus that Obama won because he had better ideas and people were tired of the old republican way of doing things. Any Democrat would have beaten Mccain/Bush.

    May 11, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Jeff

    Well, I guess Hollywood is good for politics after all, as long as it benefitst the Republicans!

    May 11, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Jones

    Oh my god. They really are like children aren't they? "Yes Will Smith we feel you would be the best possible candidate to run against Obama because first you're black, and second because you defeated an entire civilization of aggressive aliens bent on destroying the human race and we can relate a lot to that because we basically perceive anyone different than ourselves as just that."

    May 11, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |

    Is Sinise supposed to replace Reagan? The thing that probably got Reagan elected more than anything was that he was a Dem first, and some of his views were tempered by that and his acting abilities. What are Sinise's politics? Afterall, he has been in Hollywood for a while, and may not necessarily agree with all those GOP rules and beliefs. He may even have some compassion for the middle class.

    May 11, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. florida indep

    I like the acting ability of Mr. Sinise but the office of POTUS isn't an acting gig and is something in the real world not role playing in Hollywood. What does he stand for? What is his agenda for this country? How is he going to deal with the problems that everyday people, no musical pun intended, face? More importantly, what kind of dirt can be dung up on him, his family, his friends and business? If he wants to return to the good ole days of past Republican glory, thanks but no thanks. We need to take a hiatus from the economic mess that traditional Republican values lead us into that the Democrats try to fix and wind up making things worse in the long run. We need a new governmental and economic model going into the future.

    May 11, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Shari, NY

    Perhaps only a resurrected Moses could "lead them through the wilderness". As to Cheney, his verbal diarrhoea suggests that he is obviously in fear of something (that we don't know) which might come back to haunt him during the Obama administration.

    May 11, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. The Party of NO stood calmly by for 8 year while the shrub raped and pillaged America, so, why would we listen to you now?

    "Party purity" is working and due to the purging, the republicans will never return to relevancy.

    They need a woman to compete they trot out the half-wit.

    They need a black to compete they trot out Steele.

    They need someone with "sizzle" they trot out an actor.

    Until they realize that just presenting one dimensional cardboard cut-outs with NO substance as messengers but do change the message, they will continue to flip-flop like a salmon during spawning season.

    May 11, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. renobill

    Lieutenant Dan for Prez, what a great idea. Forest could be Veep. Don't laugh, he's smarter than Bushy.

    May 11, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. terry maineiac

    And I thought all actors of the hollywood elite were liberal democrats.

    May 11, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Alex

    The GOP loves their actor-presidents.

    May 11, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Annette

    I like the guy as a actor, and he may have done some terrific things for different causes. But again the Reps are truly showing how desperate and eager they are to recruit. It really looks pitiful.

    May 11, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Jim

    So after the Republicans used the campaign tactic of belittling Obama by calling him a celebrity (and being derogatory about it) they are going to have their own true celebrity be their savior? I'm sorry but the double standards of the Republican party are absolutely ridiculous. I think my IQ has dropped about 20 points trying to wrap my head around the GOP's strategy, or lack there of.

    May 11, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Lowell

    liberalismisasickness said: Quit saying the Repubs do not accept moderates…they ran a very moderate John McCain and the dems ran the unltra-liberal Obaman.

    McCain? A moderate? He was a Bushie from his nose to his toes. Definitely not a moderate.

    Obama? A liberal? I really think it's time for a lot of people to look up the descriptions of these words and compare it with the modern terminology and understanding of these words. They don't match.

    May 11, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Jim Bean

    Only a liberal establishment would recommend an openly gay activist actor to be the new face of the Republican party.

    Then again, if the GOP is the party of Bob Dole, GHW Bush, GW Bush, John McCain and losers like Lindsay Graham and Colin Powell, then maybe Gary would make a good role model for the party. It's not like any of our other leaders have Republican values.

    May 11, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Too True For You

    Yet another desparate attempt to turn the clock back to the Reagan era – "Let's get an actor! It worked so well for us before!". Proof yet again the republican party is living in the past and has no new ideas.

    And also proof republicans have are amnesiacs of the first order – weren't they the ones snarking and sniping about the "celebrity factor" with Obama?
    Reagan, popular guy= celebrity factor OK
    Democrat, popular guy = celebrity factor unfair, downfall of USA
    Republican actor part II + desparate party = celebrity factor OK again.

    May 11, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Lynn

    Picked Palin because she was a woman, picked Steele because he was black and now an actor because he can "communicate"! Still trying to put lipstick on a pig!

    May 11, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. don't do it Gary Sinise

    I like your movies, but this is embracing the dark side

    May 11, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Clarity

    It's probably easier to train an actor to lie through his teeth and make it look convincing.

    May 11, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. jill

    I thought that Rush was the savior of the party, at least that is what he wants everyone to think. When in the world did are government start taking comedians seriously? I do not understand why Rush has anything to say about anything in the Rebublican Party. This needs to stop, they are playing with peoples lives, when are they going to realize this? They need to start taking there jobs to heart and think about the american people, Not themselves

    May 11, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Wow the GOP needs to go back and pull another name from the hat, because anyone thinking that Gary Sinise has the qualities to be president are either extremely shallow or have a very low threshold for being impressed.

    May 11, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. AP in Illinois

    And the circus that is the Republican party continues!

    I am sure that Gary SInise is a good man. I just have a few questions. First of all, what kind of experience does he have? I know the GOP is extremely concerned about that as they questioned the level of experience of our current President Obama during the election. What makes you think that Gary Sinise's experience will match up against Obama in a Presidential election. How much experience does he have crafting legislation. Has he worked with Congress before. Stuff like that. And the GOP also put up a VP candidate in the last election that had 'executive experience.' Does Gary have at least this much?

    Secondly, I also know that the GOP is also worried about the level of celebrity that a candidate might have as once again they complained during the election that President Obama was a 'celebrity' and was just acting.

    Anybody from the 21% of Americans who still call themselves Republicans care to address these two issues? I eagerly await a hypocritical analysis of the facts.

    May 11, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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