Author:
Rove: A State-Dominated State of the Union
| February 14, 2013 | 9:39 am | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2013

President Obama delivered yet another speech with skill Tuesday night and, near the end when he spoke about victims of gun violence, emotion. The president’s problem has never been with the theatrics of politics. It’s the substantive and governing side where he continually falls short. So it was with this most recent State of the Union.

This speech stood in sharp contrast to Mr. Obama’s inaugural address, when he emphasized liberal social issues and climate change at the expense of economic issues. Stung by press coverage that he had ignored jobs and deficit reduction, and with 39% in the Feb. 10 Gallup poll approving of his handling of the economy, the president reversed course Tuesday, devoting almost a third of the State of the Union to these two issues.

Nevertheless, the president’s suggestions won’t spur job creation and economic growth. His proposals were liberal, stale, unfocused and often counterproductive. For example, raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour would actually cost jobs.

After he offered such flimsy lines as “good, middle-class jobs . . . must be the North Star that guides our efforts” and “our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing,” the president’s projected payoff—to create 15 “global centers with high-tech jobs” and hazy promises of more research—was pretty pathetic.

It was jarring when Mr. Obama claimed credit for things he opposed, as when he boasted that America is producing “more oil at home than we have in 15 years . . . and more natural gas than ever before.” This progress has happened despite the Obama administration, with far more new drilling on private and state lands than on federal land or waters.

Read full post here

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: How the President Can Aid Immigration Reform
| February 7, 2013 | 3:31 pm | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2013

There was rare good news from Washington last week, as eight senators—four from each party—announced a “Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

The so-called Gang of Eight proposed a “tough but fair path” to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would commence only after the federal government secured the borders and put in place systems to prevent foreigners from overstaying their visas and to help employers verify that any new hires are legal.

This “border-security first” approach would require those now in America without permission to surface, register with immigration officials, and pass a background check. Any person with a serious criminal record or who poses a national-security threat would be deported. The rest would have to pay fines and back taxes to earn “probationary legal status.”

Then they would have to wait to begin the process of applying for a green card and (if they choose) for citizenship until after a commission of border-state governors, attorneys general and community leaders affirm that the border is under operational control.

This means the process of regularization could take years—perhaps longer than a decade. Meanwhile, these “probationary legal residents” would not be eligible for welfare, ObamaCare or other public assistance.

Read full post here

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: About That ‘Permanent Democratic Majority’
| January 31, 2013 | 12:27 pm | Karl Rove, Uncategorized | No comments

Published for The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2013

Many are arguing these days that President Obama has forged a new majority coalition of women, minorities, young people and upscale cultural liberals so large and durable that he can do what no president has done before—pursue a very liberal agenda without serious opposition or defections from his own party. Demography is destiny, this argument holds, and it is irrevocably on the side of Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party.

Yes, there will be fewer whites and more minorities in the future, and Republicans will have to adjust. But the situation is more complicated than that.

Start with the obvious: If demographics were determinative, then Republicans shouldn’t have gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives in 2010—the largest midterm shift since 1938—while also taking 30 governorships.

When presidential re-elections yielded realignments in the past, the winner earned a bigger share of the vote than he had in the past. FDR won 60.8% of the vote in 1936 after winning 57.41% in 1932. But Mr. Obama won 51.06% in 2012, down from 52.87% in 2008. Over the course of his first term, his support dropped among young people (a swing of 2.4 million net votes to Mitt Romney), women (a net swing of 1.6 million votes to Mr. Romney), and African-Americans (a net swing 945,000 votes).

Read full post here

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: Obama’s Second-Term Wish List
| January 25, 2013 | 5:01 pm | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2013

President Obama’s 15-minute, 2,108-word second inaugural address followed the old wedding advice to offer “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”

The “something old” was Mr. Obama‘s habit of serving up straw men before triumphantly demolishing them. “No single person,” he harrumphed, “can train all the math and science teachers” or “build all the roads and networks and research labs” America needs.

I’ll pay for a year’s subscription to this newspaper for anyone who can identify a single person who has suggested such a thing. While we’re at it, who exactly is proposing we “choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future”?

The “something new” was Mr. Obama’s unapologetic liberalism. Since he started running for president six years ago, Mr. Obama had pretended (against all evidence) that he was a centrist. But with his final election behind him, the president is free to reveal his true self—a man fully of the left.

The president’s address made clear that his principal domestic concerns are no longer petty ones of the economy (45 words in three sentences) or deficit reduction (19 words in one sentence, followed by 155 words in six sentences saying entitlements won’t be cut).

Read full post here

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: A GOP Strategy for the Debt-Ceiling Fight
| January 10, 2013 | 11:35 am | Karl Rove, Uncategorized | No comments

Published for The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2013

President Obama says he won’t negotiate with Republicans over his proposed more than $1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling as a matter of principle because Congress “should pay the bills that they have already racked up.”

Set aside the obvious—that he championed the spending and signed the measures that racked up the bills, which Republicans opposed. There may be no person in America with less moral authority than Mr. Obama on this issue. Six years ago he led a Democratic effort to defeat a $781 billion debt-ceiling increase.

On March 16, 2006, Illinois’s junior Sen. Obama argued on the Senate floor that raising the debt limit was “a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills.” He complained that “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” and added, “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”

Even by Washington’s lax standards, Mr. Obama’s complaints today reek of hypocrisy.

Full post here

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: My 2012 Mistakes and Fearless 2013 Forecast
| January 3, 2013 | 10:22 am | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for The Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2013

A year ago, I offered political predictions for 2012. It’s time to assess what I got right and wrong—and to make some predictions for 2013.

What did I get right? Republicans kept the House, and Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell their leadership roles. In 2012, voters got even more of their election news from the Internet, instead of from newspapers, than they had in 2008. Texas Rep. Ron Paul did not run as a third-party presidential candidate.

ObamaCare remained unpopular, with Rasmussen finding in November that 50% favored its repeal while 44% didn’t, little changed from the 54%-42% split in April 2010. President Barack Obama didn’t corral any new high-profile Republican endorsements.

The president offered a crude tax-reform proposal, calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. This allowed Mr. Obama to best Mitt Romney on the question of who would better handle the issue of taxes (the margin was 49% to 44% in the October Washington Post/ABC poll).

As predicted, the Obama campaign mounted efforts to diminish the GOP’s advantage among military families and veterans. But it unexpectedly ignored white evangelicals, who gave Mr. Romney a whopping 78%.

Democrats did play the race card with explicit appeals such as Attorney General Eric Holder’s attack on state voter-ID laws as threatening “the achievements that defined the civil-rights movement.”

On other predictions, I was dead wrong. Republicans did not win the Senate, in part because of at least two bad GOP candidates and an $80 million Democratic spending advantage. Neither Rep. Nancy Pelosi nor Sen. Harry Reid left their leadership posts. Despite a sluggish start, Team Obama did indeed hit its campaign funding target, raising $1.07 billion.

Read full post here.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: What Obama Is Really Bargaining For
| December 13, 2012 | 9:35 am | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for the Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2012

As the country waits to see if Washington avoids plummeting over the “fiscal cliff,” let’s consider what President Obama’s demands reveal about his motivations.

Mr. Obama wants more revenues, lots more. He’s asking for $1.6 trillion over the coming decade, twice as much as he had tentatively agreed to with House Speaker John Boehner this summer (until the president blew up the deal by demanding more).

According to a CNNMoney.com report this month, a sizable chunk of his current demand, some $200 billion, is for short-term spending on measures such as the extension of unemployment insurance benefits, infrastructure projects and the extension of the payroll tax holiday. The president also wants authority to unilaterally decide how much money the government borrows.

The tax increases and stimulus spending are similar to the budget he submitted early this year to Congress—a budget that was unanimously rejected. Nor will Congress surrender its right to set the debt ceiling.

So why ask for these things? Part of the explanation is ideological. The president does want to expand government’s size, cost and reach in order to, in his words, “transform” America.

Full post here 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: The Political Risks of Cliff-Diving
| December 6, 2012 | 9:52 am | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for the Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2012

President Barack Obama has clear advantages in the public-opinion contest over the fiscal cliff. He recently won re-election, Democrats increased their Senate majority and the GOP controls only the House. In the Nov. 25 ABC News/Washington Post poll, 60% of respondents said they support “raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 a year,” the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s approach.

Yet the president might be overplaying his hand—which would have ramifications not only for the fiscal cliff but for his entire second term.

It is often overlooked that Americans can hold conflicting opinions on the same subject at the same time. While Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy, a Winston Group poll two weeks ago (conducted for the GOP House leadership) found just 26% of respondents agreeing that “given the state of the deficit, those making over $250,000 a year should have to pay 40% of their income in federal taxes.” Some 68% disagreed. This is relevant because Mr. Obama wants wealthy Americans to pay 39.6% of their income in federal taxes, plus additional levies that would bring the total bite to at least 44.6%.

Full post here

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: The Outlines of a Budget Deal Are Obvious
| November 30, 2012 | 8:59 am | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for the Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2012

With a big assist from Ohio, the president clinched a second term after a tough fight. In his victory statement, he pledged to “continue our economic progress” and see “our servicemen and women . . . come home.” There were high hopes and a belief he had a mandate.

The year was 2004, and the president was George W. Bush.

The turbulence began almost immediately. Mr. Bush ran on Social Security reform. But in the election aftermath, no congressional Democrat supported it while many Senate and House Republicans were eager to see the issue go away.

Mr. Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform floundered as congressional Democrats, especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, did in the measure. Some of its supporters, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, voted for amendments that gutted the reform.

While Mr. Bush campaigned on a platform of winning the Iraq war, after the 2004 election many Democrats—including Mr. Obama—still tried to defund the war, even opposing a debt-ceiling increase in an attempt to starve its funding.

The lesson? A president doesn’t get his way in a second term nearly as easily as he does in his first term. Like his predecessors, Mr. Obama can expect opposition not just from the other party, but also from his own. It’s natural for congressmen in the president’s party to begin looking out for themselves more. Their names will be on the next ballot, not his. And 2014 is likely to be ugly for Democrats. The White House party has lost seats in every second-term off-year congressional election except one—1998, when Democrats gained five House seats and stayed even in the Senate.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Rove: The Lessons of Defeat for the GOP
| November 15, 2012 | 9:28 am | Karl Rove | No comments

Published for the Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2012

The GOP is undergoing the type of re-examination that occurs whenever a party loses. That useful exercise should be guided by facts. Here is some of what we know.

The media’s postelection narrative is that Democrats won because of a demographic shift. There is some truth to that, but a more accurate description is that Democrats won in a smaller turnout by getting out more of their vote.

Turnout dropped by 7.9 million voters, falling to 123.6 million this year from 131.5 million in 2008. This is the first decline in a presidential election in 16 years. Only 51.3% of the voting-age population went to the polls.

While the Democratic “ground game” was effective, President Barack Obama received 90.1% of his 2008 total while Gov. Mitt Romney received 98.6% of Sen. John McCain’s vote. Neither party generated a higher turnout nationally.

Tactically, Republicans must rigorously re-examine their “72-hour” ground game and reverse-engineer the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort in order to copy what works. For example, a postelection survey shows that the Democratic campaign ground game was more effective in communicating negative information. It would be good to know why—and how to counter such tactics in the future.

Republicans should also emulate the Democratic “50-state” strategy by strengthening the ground game everywhere, not just in swing states.

Full post here

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)