Karl Rove’s Job at the Illinois GOP Convention

This year it’s Karl Rove’s job to impact the course of history. His boss’ reelection and four years of American leadership are in his hands. How well he does his job can make or break not just the Bush family politically, but the progress towards domestic entitlement, budget and tax reform.

It’s my job to put together a few hundred words every week that might cause people to think a little differently. Often this space points out the drowsy thinking that’s all too common in the Illinois GOP.

And every time I hear a shriek I know someone has just been awakened.

It appears this type of thinking has caused the Illinois Republican Party to disqualify itself from a role in reelecting President George W. Bush. The course we’ve been on since the 1970s has caused the Prairie State to “trend” Democrat.

We’re now officially political fly-over country.

Just about everything would have to go right for Rove to avoid losing Illinois by double digits. News from Iraq in recent days has made that unlikely.

In light of this, Rove might be tempted to let us stew in our own failed juices, continue our intramural struggles, and leave our 21 Electoral votes to John Kerry this year and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

This week the big news is that Karl Rove will be visiting our state party convention – evidently to bolster his old friend, National Committeeman Bob Kjellander.

The plea from this little columnist to the most powerful politico in the world is simple: while you’re here visiting old friends, Karl, make some new friends as well. There are some good Republicans in Illinois you need to meet and get to know.

Since there has been an absence of effective Republican leadership in this state for a very long time, Rove’s blessing, encouragement, and friendship could go a long way towards helping the right kind of leadership emerge.

As a national political leader he has a responsibility to do what’s best not just for Bush Country but also for Republicans everywhere. He can ignore us when it comes to campaign dollars, but we need his influence and moral support for the effort to return the Land of Lincoln and birthplace of Reagan back to Republican ideals.

Because it’s only May and there’s so many things that can happen between now and Rove’s big day, the most important thing to do – is what’s right. He must act on principle – not mere political calculation or to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

When it comes to political campaigns and governance it all comes down to “what does the public know and when do they know it?” Rove’s most important work in this regard (shaping public opinion) is outside of Illinois.

But Illinois Republicans who support the President and believe in his party’s platform have important work to do right here.

Karl’s boss knows it’s essential to have competent staff. The same applies when it comes to choosing your political friends. You can win or lose based just on who fights along side you.

Since Illinois seems to be already lost, we may not deserve your assistance. Nevertheless you have the duty to lend it, albeit in a manner that won’t hurt the chances of a second Bush term.

This Friday in Collinsville my hope is that Karl Rove makes some new political friends and helps us break ground on a new party structure. He then can go on to engineer a Bush victory this November.

It’s a big job, but I think he can do it.