This is, logically, an apt time for reflection among Oregon Republicans, months after important reversals at election, and months ahead of the 2008 campaign season. Where to go from here?
The attendees at the Dorchester Conference at Seaside last weekend are not a perfectly representative group of Republicans - they are activists, funders and the heavily-involved - but they do provide a rough measure of thinking. And, in a series of votes at the conference, they did express some opinions.
Their presidential preference was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani - he took a clear lead (he won 60). Second (with 34) was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who isn't in the race; and third was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Whither Arizona Senator John McCain?
More significant were the attendees' take on issues. They proposed (121-73) amending the Oregon Constitution to ban the state lottery and related games. They overwhelmingly (204-36) supported the recent troop increase level in Iraq. They supported (119-105) strictly tying school funding to performance on No Child Left Behind tests.
Leaving aside the merits of those positions, they look from here like an improbable agenda for regaining political clout in Oregon.