The other night it was an event with John McCain. Tonight it’s Karl Rove. Who’s next, W? Republican scorched-earth strategist Karl Rove will headline a $1000-a-head fundraiser tonight in Greenwich for U.S. Senate candidate Chris Shays of Bridgeport. Trailing in polls, Shays needs lots of loot.
The Shays-Rove relationship is not new. Rove was the architect of George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential win (did he really win?) and reelection in 2004. Shays, who had earned his stripes with voters as a congressional budget hawk, won the adulation of Bush and Rove for his unyielding support of the war in Iraq. Along the way, as Fairfield County voters came to the conclusion Bush and Rove attacked the wrong country in response to 911, Shays began feeling the fallout. As the economy tanked in 2008 and Shays declared “the fundamentals of the economy are strong … no one can argue with that” a majority of voters viewed the once-admired Congressman way out of touch. Democrat Jim Himes defeated Shays in 2008 led by the Barack tsunami that hit Bridgeport.
Shays wants to go back to Washington, this time as a member of the Senate. GOP-endorsed Linda McMahon is in his way and they’re headed for an Aug. 14 primary. Trailing two to once among GOP voters in the latest Q Poll, Shays must bank and spend a bundle of cash if he’s going to persuade Republican primary voters to make him their nominee. From the Shays camp:
The Shays for U.S. Senate campaign today released a statement from political strategist Karl Rove, who is coming to Connecticut today for an event in support of Christopher Shays.
“Republicans can win the majority in the United States Senate this year and Connecticut Republicans can make a big contribution to making that happen by nominating Christopher Shays,” said Karl Rove, former Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. “He’s the Republican who can win in November.”
In advance of tonight’s event, at which Rove will discuss the 2012 election climate, Christopher Shays said,
“Karl Rove has been following politics in America for decades. He knows what it takes to win elections, and he has taken a good look at this race and concluded I can win it. Karl knows American politics better than almost anyone else and his faith in my ability to win the election is tremendously gratifying.”