By Adam Nagourney
The New York Times
Above: Newt Gingrich, in New York on Monday, said Republicans should be honest “about the level of failure for the past eight years.” Photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
The competition to fill the vacuum left by Senator John McCain’s defeat — and by the unpopularity of President Bush as he prepares to leave office — will be on full display at a Republican Governors Association meeting beginning Wednesday in Miami.
At the same time, Republicans representing diverse views about the party’s direction are preparing to fight for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee
, a prominent post when the party is out of the White House. The current chairman, Mike Duncan, has signaled that he wants to stay on after his term expires in January, but he is facing challenges from leaders in Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina, among other states.