Fred Thompson hits the right notes for me when he talks about federalism, a topic of little interest to either of the George Bushes, nor to any Dems.
A quote from Edwards' piece at TCS:
There has been a void in the Republican presidential race. The GOP candidates have spoken about immigration, taxes, social issues, and the war in Iraq. Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain have also spoken frequently about Ronald Reagan in order to position themselves as the political heirs to the great president.
The candidates, however, have overlooked a central idea that animated Reagan's view of government. That was federalism, the constitutional principle that the federal government's responsibilities are "few and defined" as James Madison put it.
Reagan believed that the federal government had grown too big and swallowed up too many activities that, in the words of the 10th Amendment, should be left to the states and the people. Education, welfare, food stamps, and other such activities were not properly federal roles in his view. Here is Reagan kicking off his run for the presidency on November 13, 1979:
"The federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the Constitution. All others shall remain with the states or the people ... The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. There should be a planned, orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities."
Sadly, accomplishing that goal was another story. Read the whole thing.