Eric Cantor Among the Aspenites

Eric Cantor, pictured here in Washington, D.C., cooled his brand in the alpine air of Aspen, Colo.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

I returned from Aspen with a mind newly irritated with Thinkfluence and Robustness, and with a story about Eric Cantor’s experimental journey there. At a rap session with Ramesh Ponnuru, then at an education discussion where he got applause by talking about the need to discipline bad teachers, Cantor tried to breathe some life into the “GOP rebranding” project. I noticed that he had scaled it back considerably given the reality of the GOP House, and … well, it’s not surprising, but I noticed attendees and trustees skeptical that the new GOP could be trusted with Nextification or Change 2.0.

McKay Coppins, who got to Aspen before I did, found a liberated Tim Pawlenty enjoying a life without the GOP base to worry about.