Articles by Karl Rove
Labor Day is the unofficial start of the fall campaign season, so it's a good time to assess the GOP's chances of winning the U.S. Senate.
Republicans have two advantages. Many Senate races are in red-leaning states, and the GOP has put its A-Team on the field. In every primary the more electable Republican won the nomination, and that's likely to hold true in New Hampshire on Sept. 9 when Scott Brown is heavily favored.
The GOP candidates also survived Democratic attempts to essentially disqualify them with a summer bombardment of negative television ads.
The indictment on Friday of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on charges that he abused his powers is an outrageous—but not unprecedented—abuse of prosecutorial power. And it may come back to haunt those responsible.
The indictment itself caused a storm of denunciation, including by liberals. Former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod dismissed it as "pretty sketchy." Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said this is "what happens in totalitarian societies." The Washington Post, Boston Globe and New York Times were critical.
Barack Obama believed his legacy as president would be that he ended the Iraq war. It looks increasingly that his legacy could be that he lost it. By their admission, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden inherited a war that had been won. In 2011 Mr. Obama said America was "leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq," and Mr. Biden proclaimed Iraq "one of the great achievements of this administration."
Mr. Obama then committed a massive error in judgment by withdrawing all U.S. troops. That allowed the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, the world's most formidable, merciless and dangerous terrorist army.
Unlike 2010, when the big story was the epic gains of Republicans in the House, this year's midterms will mostly be about the Senate. And this summer has been unkind to Democrats hoping to keep the upper chamber.
Two weeks ago the New York Times reported that Montana Democrat John Walsh plagiarized much of his 2007 Army War College master's thesis. Montana's two largest papers have called for him to end his campaign.
You have to give a tip of the hat to America's Cynic-in-Chief. Every time you think he has scraped bottom, he sinks still lower.
Take President Obama's most recent political gambit. Knowing Democrats cannot win the midterms on his record and having long ago foregone a positive agenda, Mr. Obama and his party are now claiming in every conceivable setting that Republicans will impeach him if the GOP wins this fall. First lady Michelle Obama led off this attack at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser last Thursday in Chicago, warning that if Democrats lose this November, there will be more "talk about impeachment."
In politics, candidates want to be on the offense, pressing their agenda and attacking opponents. But sometimes the best offense is a good defense that sets the record straight and flips the issue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did this superbly last week, showing why he is likely to win in Kentucky in November.
His Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, appeared in an ad sitting with a retired miner who wanted to know why Mr. McConnell "voted to raise my Medicare costs by $6,000. How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?" He and Ms. Grimes then stared at the camera for five seconds, before Ms. Grimes said, "I don't think he's going to answer that."
Liberal columnists and Democratic strategists have taken to arguing that ObamaCare is working and no longer a political negative, implying that Democratic candidates should tout it on the campaign trail. Republicans should pray they do, assuming the GOP knows how to respond.
As presidential scholar George Edwards III observed in his 2012 book "Overreach," the Affordable Care Act is "perhaps the least popular major domestic policy passed in the last century."
As de facto party leader, presidents raise political money. Since he makes time for it no matter how pressing world or national affairs are, President Obama apparently likes raising campaign funds. He has attended 34 fundraisers so far this year. What is unusual is how much time he devotes to it, his timing and his lack of judgment.
For example, the afternoon following the Sept. 11, 2012, murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya, Mr. Obama left the White House for a fundraiser in Las Vegas and a campaign appearance in Colorado.
By all accounts the Democrats face significant challenges in the midterm elections. It can't help them that the party's two most prominent figures—President Obama and Hillary Clinton —have become tone deaf.
Let's take the president and the IRS targeting of tea party and conservative groups. When the practice was revealed in May 2013, Mr. Obama called it "outrageous," saying "there's no place for it." He wanted the IRS "held fully accountable" since the agency "requires absolute integrity."
Mississippi's Sen. Thad Cochran pulled off a difficult and surprising win Tuesday night, and he has the state's open primary law to thank for it. In the June 3 primary, Mr. Cochran trailed tea party favorite Chris McDaniel by 1,386 votes or 0.5% of the 313,443 votes cast. This week, he beat Mr. McDaniel, a state senator, by 6,373 votes or 1.6% of 374,893 votes.
The six-term senator's victory was due to a strategy by his campaign and the support of the Mississippi Conservatives super PAC led by GOP national committeeman Henry Barbour and his uncle, the very popular former Gov. Haley Barbour.