Eric Cantor grabs a plastic dinosaur from the pile of toys in front of 1-year-old Mekhi Scott, taps the beast on the table and growls, “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Mekhi jumps — he’s startled at first — and smiles.
“You like dinosaurs?” coos Cantor, the House majority leader and one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the country. “So do I.”
Watching this weirdly cute exchange Monday at The Preparatory School of the District of Columbia, I realize just how hard it’s going to be for the GOP to rebrand itself after the 2012 election debacle. Republican leaders are a bit like Mekhi’s plastic dinosaurs: Even when they’re cute, they can be scary.
Cantor visited the school for more than an hour to gather information for a speech Tuesday that his aides are billing as an important shift of tone for the Republican Party. The speech will attempt to cast the House GOP’s traditionally conservative policy agenda in terms that appeal to parents, explaining why school vouchers, tax breaks, repealing the health care law, and other Republican standards would “make life work better.”
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