Articles by Karl Rove
To understand President Obama's legislative agenda, follow the money. At a Houston fundraising dinner last week, Mr. Obama criticized Senate Republicans for opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which he called "common sense" legislation "to meaningfully enforce the simple concept of equal pay for equal work."
Here's what the president didn't say. It's been illegal since the 1963 Equal Pay Act to pay men and women with equal years of service a different wage for the same work. No matter. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a political twofer.
With the announcement earlier this month that 7.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance through ObamaCare, Democrats think they are over the hump. House Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN's Candy Crowley that congressional Democrats "are happy to not run away from what we have done. We're very proud of what we have accomplished."
Democrats at risk in Republican states this November agree. Louisiana's Sen. Mary Landrieu says ObamaCare "holds great promise and is getting stronger every day."
With seven months until the midterm election, there's little for Democrats to cheer in the growing number of polls on this year's Senate contests.
The next benchmark for these races is the April 15 Federal Election Commission fundraising reports for the first quarter. All three Republican candidates had a commanding financial advantage at the end of 2013. If they maintain the money edge for 2014's first and second quarters, Democratic donors may start cutting their losses and shifting funds elsewhere.
Their target is the GOP, but they are not angry liberals bent on destroying it. They are reform-minded Republican leaders intent on strengthening it.
These Republicans are applying conservative principles to 21st-century challenges, focused on middle-class concerns like lowering costs and improving access to college, modernizing health care and reforming the tax code. They aim to broaden prosperity's reach through markets and merit, not government and corporate cronyism.
Public support for President Obama is tanking on multiple fronts, dragging down his party. Foreign policy was a relative strength for much of Mr. Obama's first term. No more. According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Mr. Obama's disapproval rating on handling foreign affairs is 53%, the highest of his presidency. That number is likely to have grown since the poll was conducted 11 days ago—before Vladimir Putin's very public humiliation of Mr. Obama's weak reaction to his takeover of Crimea.
No modern American president has been exposed as this feckless and impotent, except for perhaps Jimmy Carter.
To Republicans, a word of caution over the special election in Florida's 13th congressional district: Don't uncork the champagne.
David Jolly's victory on Tuesday over Democrat Alex Sink by 48.4%-46.6% is significant. President Obama won the district twice, and its changing political demographics make it Democratic-leaning—despite being held for 42 years by C.W. "Bill" Young, a popular Republican, until his death last fall. Still, special elections don't always dictate how midterms turn out.
For months it has been clear that Democrats have a red-state problem in the Senate midterm elections: Seven Democratic seats are up for grabs in states Mitt Romneycarried in 2012, three of them opened by retirements.
Republican Congressman Cory Gardner's decision on March 1 to run against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado—a state President Obama carried in 2008 and 2012—indicates that Democrats have a blue-state problem too. The problem stems from President Obama's poor approval rating, compounded by able Republican candidates like Mr. Gardner, a rising star in the House.
The worst part of National Security Adviser Susan Rice's comments on Sunday's "Meet The Press" was that she expressed no regret for saying that the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi were "absolutely" the result of protests against a "very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world." (She made these comments while she was ambassador to the United Nations, less than a week after four Americans were killed.)
Almost as bad was Ms. Rice's statement that she was merely sharing "the best information that we had at the time."
Just a few months ago Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said ObamaCare "will be a net positive" for Democratic candidates in 2014. The party's national chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, predicted "Democratic candidates will be able to run on ObamaCare as an advantage" in the congressional midterms.
That was then. Now Democrats are circulating a new strategy memo (obtained by Politico) advising candidates to distance themselves from the law.
When President Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in March 2012 that "after my election I have more flexibility," most assumed he was referring to foreign policy. It turns out Mr. Obama's ambitions weren't so limited.
Earlier this week, Mr. Obama demonstrated his imperial flexibility again, delaying another important provision of the Affordable Care Act. For firms with 50-99 employees, the president waived until 2016 the requirement they provide health insurance or pay a fine.