Republicans in the US have the biggest hurdle approaching them I can think of: who will replace Bush?
Bush's legacy not only in American politics, but on the world stage is already sealed. He will be remembered. Some will hate him, some will revere him. The question Republicans really should be fretting about is who will replace him.
Bush wasn't elected by so-called "moral" or "social" conservatives, but he was brought over the top by those same groups in my opinion. Bush was successfull in creating a wide coalition that included religious conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, neo-cons, and even paleo-cons if you would believe. If anything Canadian Conservatives have something to learn from the Bush presidency.
That being said whoever replaces Bush will only be a shadow. Who can possibly contain that coalition and build on it? I can't see anyone in American politics that could do it. Bush had the ability to appeal to faith based groups, and at the same time not completely annoy the heck out of the rest of US Conservatives.
Issues of Morality have become a prime issue in America. The Bush presidency has been the foremost beneficiary of this. Will the next Republican Candidate for the Presidency continue to be able to capitalize on this? Many of the possible contenders mentioned don't seem particularly eager to talk about so-called "Life issues" like abortion, euthenasia, human cloning.. At least not the way this President has.
I can't help but think, as a Canadian viewing American politics from afar, that the next President of the US, even if he is Republican, will never be able to outdo what this President has accomplished already let alone what he has left to do.