(Post Gazette) Beyond his Texas home, few states received more of Karl Rove's attention than Pennsylvania.
In 2004, particularly, the state proved to be a laboratory demonstrating both the power and the limits of the political strategy that produced two presidential terms for George W. Bush.
While serving as Butler County Republican Chairman, I did get to see the re-election effort of the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign up close. A lot of things were done right, including multiple phone banks with identified targets, door-to-door teams that hit thousands of homes, and a detailed strategy of day-to-day activity right up to election day. On a daily basis, we had to report to the campaign the numbers of phone calls made, doors hit, etc. This coordinated effort went on all during the summer and fall of 2004.
Unfortunately, because of the “top-down” campaign structure, some things were not done right. The “BC-04” campaign ignored our recommendations regarding the appointment of county BC-04 coordinators and named their own. Personality conflicts raged as a result. Yard signs and bumper stickers were next to impossible to get, and campaign handouts were very scarce. In a campaign known for its political “acumen”, the most unexplainable mistake was that the vote goals set for the counties were grossly miscalculated - either too low or too high.