President Barack Obama won re-election through a combination of luck and skill but not on a policy-based platform, says Republican super strategist Karl Rove.
The former aide to President George W. Bush has received heated criticism in the media for helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for outside spending groups that didn’t push Mitt Romney or various Republican Senate candidates to victory.
Rove’s take on Obama’s win: “While victorious, the president is hardly a colossus,” the strategist writes in The Wall Street Journal
. “He ran a campaign utterly devoid of a governing vision because he offered little in the way of a prospective agenda. And because his campaign was unprecedented in its negativity and ugliness, it will be doubly hard for him to reach across the aisle.”
So what explains the Romney failure?
“The president's team ran a focused, disciplined ground game to identify all Obama supporters from 2008, hold them in line, and turn them out this year,” Rove says.
Obama succeeded in painting Romney as a greedy plutocrat in an early advertising blitz. The president got lucky on super-storm Sandy, which “interrupted Mr. Romney's momentum and allowed Mr. Obama to look presidential and bipartisan,” Rove writes.
“Then there was the anonymous New York Times headline writer who affixed ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ to Mr. Romney's November 2008 op-ed on reorganizing the auto companies, which the Obama campaign brought up again and again in the industrial Midwest.”
Romney’s comment that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on the government didn’t help either.
The election numbers made Obama the first president to win re-election with a smaller percentage of the vote than the first time around, Rove notes. That’s not exactly a sign of strength.
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