Ann Coulter thinks Karl Rove’s no campaign genius:
If Rove is “the architect” — as Bush called him in his acceptance speech — then he is the architect of high TV ratings, not a Republican victory. By keeping the race so tight, Rove ensured that a race that should have been a runaway Bush victory would not be over until the wee hours of the morning.
As we now know, the most important issue to voters was not terrorism, but moral values. Marriage amendments won by lopsided majorities in all 11 states where they were on the ballot. Even in Oregon, the state targeted by gay marriage advocates as their best shot of defeating a marriage amendment, the amendment passed by 57 percent — a figure noticeable for being larger than the percentage of votes cast for Bush in Oregon. In the great state of Mississippi, the marriage amendment passed with 88 percent of the vote.
Seventy percent to 80 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. Far from appealing exclusively to a narrow Republican base, opposition to gay marriage is strongest among the Democratic base: blacks, Hispanics, blue-collar workers and the elderly. There were marriage amendments on the ballot in Michigan and Ohio. Bush won Ohio narrowly and lost Michigan by only 2 points. How different might that have been if Bush hadn’t run from the issue.
But Rove concluded Bush should stay mum on gay marriage and partial-birth abortion — contravening the politicians’ rule of thumb: Talk about your positions that are wildly popular with voters. “Boy Genius” Rove decided Bush shouldn’t even run radio ads on gay marriage, and at the last minute, Bush started claiming he was in favor of civil unions, just like John Kerry.