The news keeps getting better for Donald Trump’s campaign for president. The latest: Karl Rove is coordinating attack ads. “The mastermind of George W. Bush’s presidential victories in 2000 and 2004, Rove has not signed on with any of the presidential candidates this year, though he says he has dispensed advice to a number who have asked,” reported Bloomberg. “Trump's camp is viewing the effort to help” Ben Carson “as an attack on the front-runner.”
Actually, Rove isn’t the “mastermind” of anything except disaster:
In 1994 and 98, he steered George W. Bush to victories in the Texas gubernatorial elections. But Pat Paulsen could have done that. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Ann Richards was highly unpopular, Texas was trending Republican and Bush was the son of a former president, George H.W. Bush, the state had backed twice for president and twice for vice president.
In 2000, Rove actually lost the presidential popular vote, in part because he wasted millions of campaign cash on California, which by then was solidly Democratic, instead of in Florida, which turned out to be the crucial swing state. George W. Bush became president only after Jim Baker, the family factotum and Establishment “fixer,” manipulated the system in Bush’s favor over that chad business.
In 2004, Bush won the popular vote, but nearly lost the electoral vote in a close election in another swing state he should have won easily, this time Ohio, by 118,775 votes. That happened despite a growing economy and the 9/11 attack still fresh in voters’ minds. Some Democrats still contend the vote was rigged due to GOP hanky-panky with ballots.
In 2006, voters were so upset with Bush, his fellow Republicans and especially their failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats were elected to new majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.
In 2008, Bush’s policies were so loathed, as the Great Recession dug in after the financial collapse that September and the wars dragged on, voters replaced him with Democrat Barack Obama, while giving Democrats a 60-member supermajority in the Senate. That allowed them to pass Obamacare without a single Republican vote. Thanks, Karl.
In 2012, Rove backed establishment bore Mitt Romney, and just before the election even predicted a Mittens landslide—even though all the evidence, especially the highly accurate betting houses, indicated an Obama re-election. Rove blew $300 million of contributors’ cash on the debacle.
He had a better year in 2014 because Republicans everywhere did better due to Obama fatigue and the usual victories of the party not holding the White House in the sixth year of a presidency. Again, Pat Paulsen could have achieved the same.
In sum, when an Establishment hack like Karl Rove opposes you, that’s great news for any campaign.
John C. Seiler, Jr., writes from California.