Gingrich vs. Rove: Dueling Approaches to the GOP’s Future

Recently Karl Rove has stirred up a hornet’s nest among numerous conservative activists.  Karl Rove was the political consultant behind the G.W. Bush operation and is now creating a Super PAC to vet potential GOP candidates. Many conservatives believe that he is doing this to weed out Tea Party types. Others think that it more is a matter of deflecting attention from his failures in the 2012 election cycle despite some big money behind his group.  The latest to shine the light on his activities is Newt Gingrich.  Newt Gingrich was the former GOP Speaker of the House who led the charge in 1994 to gain the House majority for the GOP.  He was also a Presidential candidate in the 2012 GOP Primaries.  Gingrich’s campaign spent a lot less on political consultants and depended more on free media and scoring points in the debates.  He is of the opinion that the GOP needs to move away from a system that depends so heavily on professional political consultants towards one the relies more on candidates.  He sees Rove as attempting to preserve the current status quo.  His take on this situation was covered in this Human Events article:

They have existed in a system in which the candidate was supposed to focus on raising money and the smart consultant would design the strategy, spend the money and do the thinking.

This is a terrible system.

Watch the movie “Lincoln.” This was a politician who thought long and deeply.

Read Craig Shirley’s histories of the 1976 and 1980 campaigns (or watch the documentary Callista and I made, “Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny”). Reagan knew what he believed, why he was running, and what he wanted to accomplish.

Republicans need to drop the consultant-centric model and go back to a system in which candidates have to think and consultants are adviser and implementers but understand that the elected official is the one who has to represent the voters and make the key decisions.

It looks like this is one more factor for the GOP to consider in going forward.  Would less reliance on consultants make politicians more capable of defending their rational for running?