After Sarah Palin’s bizarre embrace of Donald Trump this week, not everyone associates the Republican Party with deep thinkers.

But Lanhee Chen, one of the Republican Party’s rising policy stars, reminds us that the brains can be found on the right as well as the left of American politics. Chen was Mitt Romney’s major policy advisor in the 2012 Presidential election and, as a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, remains very influential within the party as, amongst other things, a senior advisor to Marco Rubio.

Like RNC Strategy Director Sean Spicer, Chen believes that economic innovation is the natural home of the Republican Party. And like Spicer, Chen argues that Silicon Valley needs to look more closely at the Republicans – with their focus on the free market – as its natural home. Given Chen’s commitment to the sharing economy and many of the other disruptive features of the digital revolution, this is a compelling argument – especially if (and it’s a big if, of course) a moderate, pro innovation candidate like Rubio should happen to win the nomination.

Many thanks to CALinnovates and Lincoln Initiative for their help in producing this interview with Lanhee Chen.

Featured Image: Andrew Aliferis/Flickr UNDER A CCL LICENSE

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INNOVATE2016: Rising Republican Policy Star Says Silicon Valley Should Give The Party Another Look