Eyeing the prospects of Democrats controlling both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, there are those lieutenants among the conservative ranks formulating plans to take maximum advantage of their pending time in the political wilderness. Foot soldiers will be recruited, leaders groomed, money raised and the intellectual-ideological foundation of the next conservative revival will be laid. Students of history among the faithful cite the last two Democratic administrations as the source of their fervent hope. Looking back, they see Bill Clinton first. Though his presidency brought an end to the twelve year Reagan-Bush era, it likewise brought an end to the forty-plus year Democratic domination of the House of Representatives. While the tea leaves point towards Obama being blessed with a Congress controlled by his fellow political travelers, they take heart in Clintons mid-term defeat. Hoping he will experience the same freshman failure to translate enthusiasm into policy, they are preparing to bide their time in the role of the loyal opposition till Obamas mid-term test. Looking at the issues that are likely to dominate the run-up to the 2010 mid-term election, they see the potential for discord between an Obama White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress over a plethora of matters from military missions in Afghanistan-Pakistan to economic policy to the degree of universality in health care. With a history of tension and outright competition between Democratic Congresses and administrations, there are many who believe the odds are good that they will haphazardly cast victory into the ravenous jaws of defeat. Encouraged by this prospect, Republicans dream of resurrecting the success and momentum of the Contract with America and the nationalized campaign that ushered in Grand Old Party control of the House for six consecutive Congresses. Casting their gaze back farther, they find the greatly loathed Jimmy Carter, the last true Liberal to occupy the White House. Dour and resolute in their convictions, they view the Carter years as the coda of a two decade long period of tribulation for the United States. Humiliation in Vietnam; riots and tumult at home; an economy held hostage to the whims of Arab petro-states; assaults on the traditional family; moral decay, societal decadence and malaise following cancerous malignancy at the heart of American government are the images that haunt Conservative memories of the 60s and 70s. The children of the greatest generation that had saved the world in the 40s brought the American republic to its knees three short decades later. Held fast in the grip of a self-imposed exile in the White House, Carter became the Conservatives disdained and maligned poster child for the ills unleashed from the Pandoras Box of liberalism. In the face of Carters weakness of will and malaise of spirit rode Ronald Reagan, the larger-than-life and ever dutiful conservative standard bearer. Believing in the exceptionalism of America, he proclaimed her to be a shining city on the hill, a gleaming beacon of hope and inspiration. Extolling nationalism as a virtue, he rejected the self-flagellating apologists of Carters unreconstructed liberal brethren. So enthralling was his appeal and powerful his vision of what America could be that Conservatives stand in his shadow to this day and seek to wrap themselves in his mantle. Fearing decades of banishment from the White House due to Watergate and Ford's preemptive pardon of Nixon, Republicans viewed Reagan in almost messianic terms as he handily crushed Carter and his vice president in successive landslide victories. Adding insult to injury, the term "Reagan Democrats" was coined in reference to his appeal to blue collar workers and labor union members that the Democratic Party had traditionally viewed as their stalwart foot soldiers. With sage tones, Republicans point to the Carter years as the crucible America had to pass through to prepare it for Reagans ascendency. As they come to terms with the prospect of an Obama presidency, they take solace in the thought that while it may well be a long and arduous four years, it may likewise open the door for the next Conservative champion and another multi-term era of White House stewardship. Though this is their hope, the question is - Who will this champion be and from where will they come? Reviewing the cadre that took the field to challenge for the latest Republican nomination it is strikingly clear that they must carry their search farther afield; beyond those that currently stand at the head of their ranks if they are to find a champion both viable and capable of meeting the Herculean challenge, much less of filling the dusty boots a former actor turned political legend left sitting by the Oval Office door.