Coulter vs. Rove

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.


  1. As much as I’d love to see Ann Coulter sabotage her guy, I think she’s just plain wrong. Rove walked a tightrope on this, to be sure, but I think he did exactly the right thing – get evangelicals to vote against gay marriage (and for Bush, while they were at it) but avoid gay marriage actually becoming a major campaign issue, where the backwards, Victorian-esque position of the moral busybodies would have been torn to shreds.
    The way it worked out, gay marriage was the defining issue, but since nobody knew that, they never bothered to inform the evangelicals about how anti-American their position on it was. Rove’s a dark genius, we have to give him that.

  2. Friday Morning News Briefing

    James Joyner discusses Ayad Allawi’s comments about “spectator” nations in Europe and the need for their assistance in Iraq. Paul wraps up some loose ends of election news at Wizbang. Dean Esmay has notes on the secret Republican Master Plan….

  3. Bravo Ann. She makes excellent points and dismisses the image of Rove as the Kingmaker. He is the Republican James Carville – a lot of hype.

  4. Oddly however, Bush wins. Keep that in mind. He’s like watching a Superbowl champ that doesn’t score a lot of points, but wins. I love Ann, but……
    Hugh McBryde

  5. Another thought, which is more important, a CRUSHING Presidental LANDSLIDE and a weak congress, or an mild plurality for the President and an overwhelming victory in the congress, specficly the Senate. I opt for the latter. I think it was the result of deliberate planning in which the President did not commit mistakes and kept the fire warm for congressional allies.
    Hugh McBryde

  6. Ann Coulter is a washed up idiot that should have her press credentials revoked. She keeps struggling to remake a name for herself by writing trash such as this and it just further removes her from the ranks of respected conservative writers. It’s no wonder her invites and guest appearances have been so low.
    Lets give credit where credit is due. The Bush campaign strategy was pure genius. They were able to spin about 80% of all the president’s fumbles in a positive light. Karl Rove insisted that the the Christian Coalition movement would secure the front on gay marriage and abortion thus leaving the president’s hands clean to pursue the terrorism angle. Had Bush gotten bogged down in trenches the American people would have had the opportunity to see more of all the issues on the table making it an easier Kerry/Edwards ticket.
    Sorry Ann, try figuring out how to restore your own career. Karl Rove is a mad scientist when it comes to politics and Bush owes this election to him and his spin doctors.

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