Monday, August 13, 2007

Karl Rove's impact on N.C. politics

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Rove’s mark on N.C. politics
Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political guru, is leaving the White House at the end of the month with a mixed record – a string of political and legislative successes earlier in the administration but some signal failures in more recent times.
But there’s no question about the mark that Rove has left on North Carolina politics. He has been instrumental in shaping the state’s representation in the U.S. Senate. In the 2002 election, Rove was influential in clearing the way for former American Red Cross head and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole to run for retiring U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms’ seat.
A key candidate that year, Rep. Richard Burr, wanted to run, but Rove made it clear that Dole was the administration’s choice. Soon after the election Rove was counseling Burr on running in 2004 for Sen. John Edwards’ seat – a post Edwards chose not to pursue for a second term. By then, Edwards was running for president, and Rove helped Burr raise money for that campaign.
In both cases, Republican candidates Dole and Burr beat Democrat Erskine Bowles, now president of the University of North Carolina system.
Observer reporter Mark Johnson had a good story Sept. 10, 2003, a year before Burr’s successful run, explaining how it all came about. Here’s an excerpt:
It was Richard Burr's turn, until the White House stepped in.
U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, a Republican, was retiring. Burr, a handsome and energetic GOP congressman, had been eyeing a Senate seat, even passing on the governor's race two years earlier. Very quickly after Helms' announcement, though, political operatives at the Bush White House indicated their preferred candidate for the 2002 election was Elizabeth Dole, who went on to win in November.
"It was clear, and it didn't need to be said, but the White House accurately believed Elizabeth Dole is a rock star and her chances for winning were very, very good," said Burr strategist Peter Hans, "and that Richard Burr had the luxury, as a young man, of running in two years or even later."
Two years later, with U.S. Sen. John Edwards relinquishing his Senate seat and Democrats sorting out their candidates, the Republican forces that led Burr to opt out of the last Senate race now have unified the party behind him.
Burr, of Winston-Salem, said White House officials never asked him to stay out in 2002, but it just didn't make sense to run.
Before the 2002 election was even over, that October, White House political strategist Karl Rove invited Burr to breakfast to talk about the 2004 Senate race.
"It was shocking to me that they were as focused on the 2004 election cycle," Burr said, "with the 2002 election cycle in (its) last weeks."
White House advisers, as they did with Dole, have signaled their preference for Burr, lined up fund-raisers and effectively dissuaded any GOP challengers from entering the race.
Repeating the formula they used with Dole, White House officials are dispatching their biggest names to help fatten Burr's campaign bank account. Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to headline a Burr fund-raiser in Raleigh on Friday, and Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, led an April event in Winston-Salem.
Burr expects to have $4 million in cash on hand by the end of the month, a figure that had been his year-end goal.
"Lack of money," Burr said, "is not going to be a problem."

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

KARL ROVE will be known for the downfall of the REPUBLICAN party; Mitt Romney is the only Hope for the Republican party. Karl Rove is a college drop out and should not have been considered for the job; I even wonder about bushs degree and the college he attended at this point. Lets face it it looks like Richard Moore is in and Roy Cooper would make a good Governor. Look Betts your a great writer you should be writing for the Washington POST and not for the Charlotte Libertian Paper. Im a Democrat and would vote for MITT ROMNEY because he seems smart.

Anonymous said...

I do believe BUSH was put in office so the powerful could manipulate him , this is a shame; Bush isnt a bad person he was lead around by the real GOVERNMNET thats owns us the BRITISH EMPIRE; They own everything.The Britsh own %90 percent of all corporations in the U.S. why cant they have a say in our Governmnet.

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