Editorial: Karl Rove’s cash aims to tilt the 10th District

Karl Rove, former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, talks to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. | AP Photo/David Goldman
Karl Rove, former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, talks to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. | AP Photo/David Goldman

The Republican Party cannot escape Karl Rove, not that it’s trying very hard.

The one-time “Bush’s Brain” power broker and election predictor remains a potent force, because archly conservative boosters will pay for his guesses.

Now he’s made it to Lake County. At least his money has.

Rove’s political action committee is spending $640,000 in TV ads this month on Republican Bob Dold’s attempt to reclaim the 10th District House seat now held by Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Deerfield.

As did the last race, 2 or 3 percentage points either way and fewer than 5,000 votes will decide the race.

So Rove’s television buy is no meaningless gesture.

As to Rove’s message, there are some signs that even Dold is not happy with the tin-ear script, but that all can be charged to crocodile tears. A candidate supported by forces with whom he disagrees can state forthrightly that the ads misstate his views.

Or he can pretend to be offended which is what politicians often do when power brokers like Rove throw sharp elbows in Congressional races.

The essence of Rove’s advertising is Schneider’s failure to vote with obsessed House Republicans to revoke the Affordable Care Act. Rove is still campaigning against Obamacare, even though that argument seems moot.

When Dold held the seat before Schneider, he voted 28 times to repeal Obamacare, which sounds as if he’s settled his opinion. His mind appears to be in mind-meld with the “Just Say No To Everything” battalions in the House.

Unfortunately there is no rising tide of outrage about Obamacare if you exclude zealot Tea partiers in the House.

Oddly enough, it’s an ad that attempts to damage Schneider but mostly reinforces Dold’s record.

The GOP position these days often suggests Obamacare should be “fixed not scrapped.” Republicans have shown no ability to kill it, and little energy to fix it.

What effect does Rove’s money have? He’s a costly habit for the GOP.

In the last election, he spent $175 million of their money to win 10 races and lose 27.

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