Articles by Karl Rove
In the 2012 presidential postmortems, Democrats claimed that an army of computer engineers, mathematicians and social scientists created a huge data advantage over Republicans that helped President Obama win re-election. There's truth in that.
Two aspects of this data gap stand out. The first is microtargeting. This means compiling and using hundreds of pieces of information about each voter that—combined with survey research—can help campaigns predict how likely a person is to vote, how persuadable they are, what issues matter to them, and what arguments they find persuasive.
Americans have watched Washington ricochet from one manufactured crisis to another, damaging both parties and President Obama's approval ratings. The January Pew Research survey found fewer Americans than ever trusting government's decisions.
This situation is creating internal divisions within the Republican and Democratic parties that will further complicate things in Washington. Let's begin with the GOP.
They may be far from combat, but military families serve alongside their loved ones—enduring separation, anxiety and, too often, tragic loss. Some families have a particularly difficult burden to bear, having to care for wounded loved ones, those injured or struck by illness while serving. It is work that can stretch into a lifetime.
Since the 9/11 attacks, former Sens. Elizabeth and Bob Dole have regularly visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center and met husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, children and friends who stationed themselves by loved ones' beds for weeks and months. Inspired by their example, Mrs. Dole in 2012 started "Caring for Military Families," a program of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
The $85 billion in spending that will eventually be cut after the sequester kicks in amounts to around two cents on the dollar in the overall federal budget. That hasn't kept Mr. Obama and his team from trying to scare the bejesus out of Americans about the spending reductions.
On Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he'd have to furlough 5,000 air-traffic controllers. On Saturday, the president warned in his weekly radio address that thousands of teachers "will be laid off," and "tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care."
Congressional Republicans are simultaneously united, divided and confused about the $85 billion of cuts in defense and domestic discretionary spending that begin on March 1 when the budget sequester takes effect.
Republicans are united in their dislike of across-the-board cuts but understand that this is the only way now to restrain federal spending. The GOP-controlled House twice passed bills, in May and December of 2012, that replaced the sequester with targeted reductions to less essential programs. Both measures were ignored by the White House and Democratic Senate. This led to the current impasse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As President Obama prepares to be sworn in a second time, it's a good moment to consider the state of the union during his era.
As of his first inaugural, 134.379 million Americans were working and unemployment was 7.3%. Four years later, 134.021 million are working and unemployment is 7.8%. In January 2009, 32.2 million people were on food stamps and 13.2% of Americans lived in poverty. Now, 47.5 million receive food stamps and the poverty rate is up to 15%.