One of my favorite political articles of the year was my friend and former colleague Seth Lipsky's New York Post column that appeared under the headline "Optimism: The GOP's Missing Ingredient."
It seems to have resonated not just with me but with some of the Republican Party's possible 2016 presidential contenders. Senator Ted Cruz, in his remarks to the 2014 Values Voter Summit that won him the straw poll there (and that are worth a look for other reasons, too), said, "I'm optimistic because of you. I'm optimistic because I believe in the American people."
And Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin tells Robert Draper of GQ (link via Politico Playbook): "One of the problems I see with Republicans nationally — well, three. … They're always against Obama, so they're not optimistic. I try to be optimistic and visionary."
Merely stating that you are optimistic is one thing. Actually articulating a policy vision that makes voters share that optimism is another thing. But directionally, this is progress.