Though it will likely pass by most pundits unnoticed, President Bush will make political history today when his limo rolls into the pricey Seattle suburb of Medina: the ensuing well-heeled fundraiser will mark the first time uber-advisor Karl Rove trains the full force of presidential firepower against a "Netroots Endorsed" challenger.
Local Republicans expect the President to raise a stunning $800,000 today for Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) who is struggling to win a second term in the face of a surging campaign from Democratic newcomer Darcy Burner. That the GOP would attempt to gain an overwhelming financial advantage is not surprising, but that they feel the need to bring in the POTUS against an un-recruited, until recently unknown challenger in a district the Democrats have never won should say something about our changing political landscape. Unlike some of the more high profile Netroots Endorsed candidates like John Tester and Ned Lamont, whose local campaigns quickly caught national attention, Burner rose to prominence on the shoulders of local bloggers. But now that national blogs like Daily Kos and MyDD have added her to their short list of endorsed candidates, the GOP has taken notice.
If there was any question as to whether the Democratic establishment "gets" the growing power of the netroots it was put to rest by the flattering attention lavished on bloggers at last weekend's Yearly Kos convention. President Bush's trip to Seattle to campaign against Burner now confirms that Rove "gets it" too.
Last month Rove told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute that conservatives should read and fear "Crashing the Gate"; clearly Rove has and he does. We are witnessing the emergence of a powerful new force in American politics, and we should expect Rove to do everything he can to crush it before it gets off the ground.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
"Karl Rove Targets the Netroots"
David Goldstein's new commentary on The Huffington Post: