It was a status quo election, but plenty will change next year. The GOP is doing some rethinking, foreign policy is shifting, and there are some new players on the national stage while others exit or get a downgrade.
Here’s a introduction to what we can expect:
In: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), talking sense on immigration reform.
Out: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) — out of the House, that is.
In: Finding electable Senate Republicans for 2014.
Out: Tea-party inspired losers.
In: A fiscal-cliff deal for more revenue.
Out: Setting the table for the presidential election.
In: Entitlement reform.
In: Stopping Obamacare in the states.
Out: Stopping Obamacare in the Supreme Court.
In: Top-flight conservatives looking at the 2016 presidential race.
Out: The dregs of 2012.
In: Recognizing that al-Qaeda is spreading in many failed states.
Out: “We put al-Qaeda back on its heels.”
In: Anybody but U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for secretary of state.
Out: Anybody but Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for secretary of state.
In: The Sergei Magnitsky Act, which will exclude human rights abusers from the United States.
Out: The “reset” with Russia.
In: “Israel is our only real friend in the region.”
Out: “Israel is one of our best friends in the region.”
In: GOP governors.
Out: GOP senators.
In: Sober appraisals about the Arab Spring.
Out: Euphoria over the Arab Spring.
In: “Our troops are heroic.”
Out: Hero worship of generals.
In: More daily newspapers go online-only.
In: Rethinking the GOP primary lineup.
In: Jeb Bush.
In: “Boehner sure knows how to make deals.”
Out: “Boehner is controlled by the tea party.”
In: A new generation of tech-savvy GOP operatives.
Out: The Bush-Cheney 2004 GOP operatives.
In: Spanish lessons for Republican lawmakers.
Out: “English-only” proposals.