In a rousing speech at a Democratic Leadership Council convention in May of 1991, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton stood before a crowd gathered in Cleveland and delivered his vision of a resurgent Democratic Party.
At the time, Democrats were struggling to gain traction in the middle of a third consecutive Republican presidential term. Clinton effectively sold his party on a new moderate message, calling for a more active federal government, capable of both tackling a diverse set of domestic problems and underscoring the value of personal responsibility.
"We have got to have a message that touches everybody, that makes sense to everybody, that goes beyond the stale orthodoxies of left and right, one that resonates with the real concerns of ordinary Americans, with their hopes and their fears," Clinton said.
He later highlighted the same rhetoric in describing the challenges faced by many of the urban poor.
"Those people do not care about the rhetoric of left and right and liberal and conservative and who is up and who is down and how we are positioned," Clinton said. "They are real people, they have real problems, and they are crying desperately for someone who believes the purpose of government is to solve their problems and make progress, instead of posturing around and waiting for the next election."
In July of 1991, Clinton announced his candidacy for the White House, and the rest is history.
Twenty-two years later, the Republican Party finds itself facing a similar problem in terms of national direction. With some of the GOP's top figures actively engaged in divisive intraparty turmoil, the party is tasked with presenting someone who can unite Republicans under a cohesive message ahead of the 2016 election.
While the GOP faces problems beyond that -- shifting demographics and a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run, just to name a few -- it certainly won't win an election without a candidate.
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Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary arrive for dinner at the White House Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 1986. (AP photo/Ron Edmonds)
Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton is joined by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, left, on the day he announced his bid for the presidency in Little Rock, Arkansas on Nov. 3, 1991. Clinton denied on Friday reports of rumored extramarital affairs, saying the charges were “simply not true.” (AP Photo)
Then Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton hugs his wife Hillary at Clinton's election night party at the Merrimack Inn, in Merrimack, N.H. in this Feb. 18, 1992 file photo. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)
Hillary Clinton, right, embraces her husband, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, in Los Angeles Tuesday night after he secured enough delegates to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary dance on stage during a "Get-Out-The-Vote" rally at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Sunday night, Nov. 1, 1992. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
Democratic presidential nominee Gov. Bill Clinton gives his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, a kiss as she joined him at the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 16, 1992. She had just taped "The Home Show." (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Arkansas Gov. and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign outside the Tampa Convention Center on Monday, March 9, 1992 on the eve of Super Tuesday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Framed by a huge American flag, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton wave to supporters during a rally at a downtown Chicago hotel Tuesday, March 17, 1992. Clinton won both the Illinois and Michigan primaries. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)
Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Bill Clinton, of Arkansas, walks with his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton after the couple voted at Dunbar Community Center in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1992. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
U.S. president-elect Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, hug each other during an appearance at the Old State House in Little Rock, Ark., following the presidential election victory, Tuesday night, Nov. 3, 1992. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
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President and Mrs. Clinton stand with South African President Nelson Mandela and his daughter, Zinzi Mandela Hlongwane, Tuesday night, Oct., 4, 1994 at the North Portico of the White House. The Clintons hosted a state dinner for Mandela. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)
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President Clinton laughs at the sight of a staff member (not shown) wearing a Santa hat as he, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter Chelsea leave Foundary Methodist Church in Washington after attending services Sunday morning, Dec. 25, 1994. At rear is an unidentified Secret Service agent. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at a dinner at the White House, Sunday night, Jan. 29, 1995. The former Arkansas governor was hosting the state executives Sunday night at an annual black-tie dinner for the National Governors' Association, a group he once headed. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President and Mrs. Clinton laugh during the introductions of a concert Wednesday night, May 17, 1995 on the South Lawn at the White House. The concert was being taped for a PBS television series "In Performance at the White House" and will be aired this fall. The hour-long performance, featuring the women of country music, was hosted by Chet Atkins. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)