When the political world thinks about Karl Rove’s impact, it tends to focus on his work on the Bush/Cheney campaign, his Crossroads operation, and his media work. But there’s an underappreciated aspect of the Republican strategist’s reach.
Let’s not overlook his proteges (thanks to reader R.S. for the tip).
Republican Denise Gitsham announced Thursday that she will be the third candidate running for San Diego’s 52nd Congressional District.She’s hoping to unseat Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, who narrowly won re-election to his second term in 2014. […] She worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and for Republican political consultant Karl Rove during the 2000 presidential campaign and then in the White House. Rove’s political action committee American Crossroads fundraises for Republican campaigns.
If elected, Gitsham wouldn’t actually be Rove’s first former aide to successfully run for Congress.
That honor belongs to Tim Griffin, who was an opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee before joining Rove’s White House team. Griffin once said of his own work, “We think of ourselves as the creators of the ammunition in a war… We make the bullets.”
As part of the Bush/Cheney U.S. Attorney scandal, Griffin was made a federal prosecutor in 2006, which he parlayed into a congressional seat in 2010.
The former Rove staffer is currently the lieutenant governor of Arkansas.
If you see Rove as a strategic mastermind, making a valuable contribution to American politics, perhaps the fact that his former aides are now candidates and office-holders themselves is a positive development. But if you see Rove as having had a toxic effect on politics, the fact that his aides have entered the arena probably isn’t great news.