Obama: Forget Bush's Playbook
Making 2010 a referendum on prez won't work for Dems
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2009 3:31 AM CST
George Bush answers questions from the media as Karl Rove looks on at the end of a 2006 meeting.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) Karl Rove is flattered that President Obama appears to be borrowing the strategy he devised for President Bush in the 2002 midterm elections, but he warns it won't work for the Democrats next year. Making the midterms a referendum on the White House worked in 2002 because national security was the most important issue for voters, and because Bush had a solid record of bipartisan achievement and sound leadership behind him, Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Obama "lacks a comparable foundation," and his administration is rapidly alienating voters with its Chicago-style politics and unpopular policies, Rove writes. "Nationalizing the elections over an unpopular agenda isn't likely to repeat Mr. Bush's feat of picking up congressional seats," Rove concludes. "It is, however, likely to lead to more Republican congressmen than are there now."