Karl Rove addressed a group of State Republican officials outlining the steps necessary to beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, depending on who the Democrats choose as their presidential nominee for 2008. Most of his advise is pretty straight forward. Attack Hillary on her commitment to troop funding. Ask her to clarify her position on immigration (and specifically, driver’s licenses for illegals). Republicans can hit Obama on his lack of experience, his weak legislative resume, and above all, his liberalism. Again, pretty clear cut openings for the eventual GOP nominee.
Rove went on to give advice to whomever the Republicans advance as the nominee.
He said the candidates had to first “create a sustaining narrative about themselves.” Then he said the candidate should “immediately engage” on the “kitchen table issues,” like healthcare, education, jobs and the economy.
Third, Rove said the GOP nominee has to show that he is serious about campaigning “aggressively in places where Republicans don’t usually campaign.” Rove said that includes among black, Latino, Asian and union voters.
“We’re going for everybody,” Rove said.
OK, now for a moment, take the current field of GOP candidates and try to envision which can campaign aggressively in places Republicans don’t usually campaign. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Hard to do isn’t it?
Which candidate in the current field can talk face to face with an ounce of credibility on issues of importance to Black’s, Latino’s, Asian’s and union voters? When an average African-American looks at Mitt Romney, what does he see? Rich, privileged white man? When a union voter looks at Fred Thompson, does he see a guy who will go to the mat on issues that are important to him? Maybe John McCain’s and Mike Huckabee’s liberal tendencies are strong enough to meet these constituents head-on, but even that’s a long shot.
And when it comes to aggressive campaigning, the winner will be the man with the money, and that pretty much leaves everyone out except Mitt Romney. So long as he doesn’t shoot his entire wad during the primaries.
I think the key to winning the White House in 2008 will be a massive GOTV program. If the GOP sticks with a conservative nominee, our candidate won’t get very far with the left leaning independent voter. We’ll need to go to our traditional base, grow it, and get ’em out to the polls. And at the same time, hit the Democratic nominee where it hurts. If we try to put on a face that means something to voters with a liberal slant, we’ll waste valuable resources and gain little for it.
2008 Election, Campaign, Election, Fred Thompson, GOP, Huckabee, John McCain, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, Politics, President, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani