Articles by Karl Rove

McConnell's Campaign Lesson For The GOP

Wall Street Journal | July 24, 2014

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."

How To Run Against ObamaCare

Wall Street Journal | July 17, 2014

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." 

The Fundraiser In Chief

Wall Street Journal | July 10, 2014

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.

The Democrats' Top Leaders Wilt In The Polls

Wall Street Journal | July 3, 2014

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."

National Tea Party Groups Take A Beating

Wall Street Journal | June 26, 2014

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.

Democrats Try A Romney Redux Strategy

Wall Street Journal | June 19, 2014

Democrats have a strategy for holding the U.S. Senate this year: Limit their losses to five seats or fewer, and then pick off Sen. Mitch McConnell, perhaps even swipe the GOP's open seat in Georgia. It won't be easy. 

Three Republican nominees—Montana Rep. Steve Daines, former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito —lead by double-digits in the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of recent polls.

Obama's Foreign Policy Fails His Own Test

Wall Street Journal | June 12, 2014

'Don't do stupid sh—." That is the description of President Obama's foreign policy, as crafted by White House message mavens and articulated by the president himself during a recent off-the-record press briefing aboard Air Force One in route to Asia. Mr. Obama reportedly exhorted reporters to chant it back to him.

A crude, meaningless phrase cannot substitute for statecraft, and the administration's actions—or often enough, its inaction—fail to meet his own test.

The Still-Living Memories Of D-Day

Wall Street Journal | June 5, 2014

One or two rely on walkers, some brandish canes. But even those stooped with age stand erect when the national anthem is played and sing with abandon. They are all in their late 80s or early 90s. But in the mind's eye, they are the young men who stormed Hitler's Atlantic Wall early on June 6, 1944, and redeemed the world.

On Tuesday I met several dozen American D-Day veterans as they embarked from Great Britain for France and the 70th anniversary celebration of the invasion of Europe. The men were the guests of the Greatest Generation Foundation, whose founder, Tim Davis, introduced them to me.

Handicapping A Hillary Run In 2016

Wall Street Journal | May 29, 2014

Politico reports that Democrats are concerned about Hillary Clinton being anointed as the party's 2016 nominee. Among the worriers are Govs. Jerry Brown of California and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. In an NBC interview on May 8, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid praised the spirited primary contest in 2008 as "an extremely healthy process."

For their part, Team Clinton is working at creating a sense of inevitability, ridiculing suggestions that Mrs. Clinton won't run and suggesting that anyone who challenges her is really auditioning for a slot on MSNBC.

Obama's Year Of Inaction

Wall Street Journal | May 22, 2014

In his Jan. 28 State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged to "make this a year of action," if necessary by himself if Congress didn't cooperate. "I've got a pen," he'd said earlier in the month, "and I've got a phone."

Earlier this month, the White House issued an update on its "Year of Action" theme, featuring the headline "See what President Obama has done this year to help ensure opportunity for all Americans" on the report's cover.