Last week, a Nunnelee fundraiser in Memphis featured Karl Rove – “The Architect” of President George W. Bush’s campaigns – the day after the historic Republican victory in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race.
I asked Rove what Massachusetts symbolized for Republicans. “The message from Massachusetts is anti-politics as usual, which we also saw in New Jersey where Chris Christie ran as a reformer. There was also an element of antiestablishment,” Rove said. He said the establishment’s inevitability narrative of a Democrat holding the “Kennedy seat” was rebuked by Scott Brown’s emphasis on campaigning for “the people’s seat.”
“Washington has over the past year shown unresponsiveness to the American people,” Rove continued. “One of the messages out of Massachusetts is it’s one thing to oppose policies. Scott Brown talked about what he is for. You can’t just run against Pelosi, Reid, Obama. You have to say ‘Here’s what I would do.’ That’s what Bob McDonnell did in Virginia to win there.”
Rove likes Nunnelee’s chances. “I like Alan Nunnelee,” he said. “He has a record of being an accomplished legislator. He has vision on the issues. And he is a hard campaigner; he enjoys working a room and meeting people. And people respond to him well and like him.”
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