With a little over four months to go, things are going to really heat up for the mid-term elections:
White House political strategist Karl Rove emerges from the CIA leak case with his reputation scuffed, his power slightly diminished, and Republicans counting on him, once again, to help rescue their House and Senate majorities.
Described by friends as relieved and recharged after getting the news this week that he will not be indicted in the leak probe, Rove now faces another verdict this fall over his abilities as a political strategist and his ambition to build an enduring GOP majority.
Rove’s reputation as a campaign operative is unparalleled — he is hailed by President Bush as the architect of his 2004 reelection — but his judgment in melding politics and policy into an effective governing strategy has been called into question in the president’s second term. Bush endured the worst stretch of his presidency when Rove’s powers inside the White House were at their peak.
I hope Rove gets out there and takes the spotlight on the elections. Give the Democrats something to really point to. This is a guy who lied to the American people. He said (through Scott McClellan) that he never discussed Valerie Plame with any reporters, when in fact we now know he did. That is a great talking point for Democrats.
Another great talking point is the number of failed agenda items Bush has had so far this second term. Not only Medicare-D’s nightmare, but also the failed reform on Social Security. That was not just a Bush agenda item, but a Republican agenda item and one that is very low on the American publics mind. Combine that with other items such as the Gay Marriage Amendment, Terri Schiavo, the bankruptcy bill, the stagnate debate on immigration and a plethora of other right-wing agenda items that have failed and you have a nice list of talking points. If the Republicans did not control both houses and the White House then valuable time in session would not be wasted debating these doomed issues.
This is the reason we need a balance of powers and parties in Washington. When you got a single party running everything that means they will work harder on only the agenda items that matter to them and not the ones that matter to the people and better the country as a whole. Hopefully we can balance that scale again this fall and if the Democrats go out with the passion they showed during the Iraq debate this week then I have no doubt that balance will be restored.