On Monday night, I sat in the overflow room at Rider University watching the man that is responsible for bringing us 8 years of George W. Bush, Karl Rove. As a Democrat, I cannot stand the guy but did hear what he had to say. And yes I did go into the event knowing that I was severely outnumbered, and thankful that I was not in the main room, but instead the overflow room.
With the exception of telling us how New Jersey broke his heart by voting for Kerry in 2004, he did not talk much about the Garden State, but instead mostly focused on the 2012 presidential election and the future of his party. I for one found it very interesting to hear (and now know) the other side’s strategy. He also spoke of three major events that will influence the outcome of the presidency this year— the Wisconsin special election in the Scott Walker recall, the Supreme Court’s decision (and the President’s response) to health care, and Iran.
When asked about Citizens United, Rove (obviously a supporter because of his Crossroads SuperPAC) went on a rant about how unions, environmental groups, etc have been running ads on behalf of Democrats for years and it levels the playing field (funny how he conveniently left out groups like the NRA that traditionally support Republicans). I wish I knew how to use the video feature on my new phone because what I witnessed was messaging at its finest (a skill in which Democrats traditionally lack).
Given concerns about how Republicans are quickly becoming a party of older, white men, he was asked about the future of his party and how they can continue to be successful. He said that they need to start running candidates that are not 72-year-old white men (as they ran in 2008) and run diverse candidates in order to appeal to those demographics, later saying that in a diverse state like Texas, the GOP holds all 28 elected statewide offices.
I do apologize for being a day late in this writeup, but I think it was a healthy experience for me to see the spin master in action and a good introduction to opposition research for me. Even though I was fuming at some of his responses on the inside, I did not let it show at all. While there are a lot of questions that I would have liked to ask the man, I was polite and did not ask one myself (they had to be asked in writing and were selected by moderators).