Articles by Karl Rove
How big an impact did Mitt Romney's performance in last week's debate have? Huge. Mr. Romney not only won the night, he changed the arc of the election—and perhaps its outcome.
I've seen a movie like this one before. I was in my 20s and director of the Texas Victory Committee for Reagan-Bush. Our headquarters was in an old mortuary in Austin.
When George Stephanopoulos asked Mitt Romney in a Sept. 14 "Good Morning America" interview what he's learned about President Obama as a debater, the former Massachusetts governor replied, "I think he's going to say a lot of things that aren't accurate."
It's over. Gov. Mitt Romney's statements last week about the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, followed by the release this week of a video of Mr. Romney at a May fundraiser, have brought the 2012 election to an early end.
Both Democratic euphoria and Republican angst over President Obama's convention bounce were short-lived. The bounce is modest and likely to diminish. What remains is Mr. Obama's convention address, which reveals weaknesses in his message for the campaign's final months.
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.