CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Political strategist Karl Rove is gone from the White House these days. But he's still thinking about elections, "narrow" margins of victory, the loss of momentum and a fickle public. Of course, it's not his own narrow win, but the Democrats' just over a year ago.
And the man who became known as "Bush's brain," sees the Democrats with a tenuous Congressional majority that could easily be flipped to a GOP majority in 2008. Rove's Opinion Journal analysis asserts the Democrats have totally failed to capture the public's imagination. He believes they had a window of opportunity after the November 2006 election that brought the party to power with slim margins out of 80 million votes cast. He says the window now appears to be closed.
"Democrats had a moment after the 2006 election, but now that moment has passed. They've squandered it. They have demonstrated both the inability and unwillingness to govern. Instead, after more than a decade in the congressional minority, they reflexively look for short-term partisan advantage and attempt to appease the party's most strident fringe. Now that Democrats have the reins of congressional power, their true colors are coming out and the public doesn't like what it sees.
"The Democratic victory in 2006 was narrow. They won the House by 85,961 votes out of over 80 million cast and the Senate by a mere 3,562 out of 62 million cast. A party that wins control by that narrow margin can quickly see its fortunes reversed when it fails to act responsibly, fails to fulfill its promises and fails to lead."
Rove obviously is quite familiar with what it is like to win by an extremely narrow margin and witness "fortunes reversed." He was musing about the Democrats, but his message might also apply to the Bush Administration he once served and helped install in power.