Does the GOP need more Jack Kemps?

Jack Kemp, former GOP Vice Presidential Candidate and pro footballer, died this weekend at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. Newsweek's Eleanor "I think you're Swell-anor" Clift has written a column about him, in which she wonders if the GOP might be in a better place now had voices like Kemp's not been marginalized. She writes:  

Before there was John McCain, there was Jack Kemp, every Democrat's favorite conservative and a thorn in the side of the GOP. At the height of Reagan mania in the eighties, Kemp was pushing his party on civil rights and immigration at the same time he was one of President Reagan's principle foot soldiers on the push for tax cuts that would become the pillar of Republican politics......Kemp often said he had more interest in ideas than in partisanship, a formula that made him popular with Democrats but created friction inside his own party. When Republicans made a centerpiece of opposing immigration policies, Kemp dissented. He would have been a natural ally for President Bush, who took on his party to push for immigration reform, but by then Kemp was off the Republican radar, disparaged as a RINO—Republican in Name Only. He took being sidelined in stride, an attitude he credited to his career in pro-football. Asked in 1970 what qualified him to be a member of Congress, he said, "Pro football gave me a good sense of perspective to enter politics: I'd already been booed, cheered, cut, sold, traded and hung in effigy." 

Read the whole piece here.