Articles by Karl Rove
Thursday night at the Democratic convention, President Barack Obama could continue relentlessly assaulting Gov. Mitt Romney, put the best face on his own record, or offer a substantive vision for the future. But no matter what themes he emphasizes, we know his acceptance speech will target groups that propelled him to victory in 2008 and remain critical to his re-election, especially Hispanics, women and young people.
In a rare moment of senior-presidential-adviser-to-senior-presidential-adviser telepathy, I overheard the private thoughts of David Plouffe as he prepared for the Democratic National Convention. But I may have channeled a different David Plouffe—one who exists in an alternate reality that experienced different presidential decisions after Jan. 20, 2009.
Conventional wisdom holds that with such a small number of voters still undecided, this presidential contest is a base election like 2004, with both candidates focused on turning out their respective party's hard-core supporters. Like much conventional wisdom, there's some truth in this. But it's far from the complete story.
Predictably, Democrats went after Mitt Romney's new running mate immediately, describing Paul Ryan as a "certifiable right-wing ideologue" whose views are "extreme" and "radical." They focused on Medicare, warning that Republicans "would end Medicare as we know it," making it "a voucher system" that costs seniors "thousands of dollars in health care costs."
Wednesday's Gallup poll had President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied, with Mr. Obama at 47% and Mr. Romney at 46%. That's good news for the challenger: Mr. Romney has absorbed a punishing three-month Obama television barrage that drained the incumbent's war chest. Historically, undecided voters tend to break late for the challenger.
'If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Despite President Obama's effort to walk back these remarks, the damage they've caused to him remains. And that's because what he said in Roanoke, Va., on July 13 came across as a true expression of his worldview.
This week brought bad news for President Barack Obama's attempts to blame someone else—anyone else—for America's economic problems.
A poll released Monday by the Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress, found that 66% of voters believe the weak economy is Washington's fault. And who is most to blame? A third—34%—said Mr. Obama. Congress was named the culprit by 23%, while 20% chose Wall Street and 18% fingered former President George W. Bush.
Since mid-May, President Barack Obama and his campaign have been attacking Mitt Romney for "shipping U.S. jobs overseas." They've suggested he made false filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. And they've hit him for having "Swiss bank accounts and offshore investment funds in the Caymans." Before considering their political impact, let's review each of these charges.
Elections are about numbers, and right now the president's are bad. To understand why, consider 2008 as a reference point. That year, Barack Obama received 69,456,897 votes to John McCain's 59,934,814.
The great 19th-century French observer of our country, Alexis de Tocqueville, was amazed at how "Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations . . . proposing a common object for the exertions of a great many men and . . . inducing them voluntarily to pursue it."