The soft Republicanism of the National Council for a New America.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
April 30 2009 6:06 PM

Mr. Cantor's Neighborhood

The minority whip's vision for a kinder, gentler GOP.

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It does raise the question, though: Isn't this the Republican National Committee's job? It's the party's public face. It controls national strategy. It has even started a site dedicated to ginning up grassroots ideas. But the RNC draws a distinction. "The RNC doesn't do policy," says Communications Director Trevor Francis. "We do campaigns and elections." They'll be watching NCNA to see what ideas it comes up with, he says. But aside from that, the RNC is not in the think-tank business. (The financial scuffle within the RNC probably doesn't make it an attractive ally, either.)

The NCNA makes its first foray Saturday, when it ventures deep into heartland America: a restaurant in Northern Virginia.

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.