Rove vs. Reid

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Karl Rove.

Politico spotlights a good angle to the subject of my new print piece this week: the huge Republican money steamroller poised to flatten Democrats from coast to coast in the midterms. If you read my story you’ll see that Karl Rove is a central player in this effort, particularly through the anodyne sounding group American Crossroads, which hopes to spend $50 million or more targeting Democrats and supporting Republican candidates this fall.

One main American Crossroads target, Politico explains, is the embattled Senate majority leader, Harry Reid:

[I]t’s clear Crossroads has had it in for Reid. The group raised eyebrows with its all-in approach, attacking Reid on the airwaves long before other Republican-leaning outside groups got involved. Such attacks helped give Angle cover when her sparsely staffed campaign couldn’t respond on the airwaves for weeks after the June primary.

For instance, when Angle’s campaign was dark on broadcast advertising for a two-week summer period in Las Vegas, Crossroads was advertising heavily and later suspended its ads when Angle went big on the air, according to tracking numbers…

In total, Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads — which was the brainchild of Rove and former Bush White House official Ed Gillespie — have spent $1.7 million in Nevada on ads slamming Reid, most notably on the economic stimulus. The group has earmarked an additional $10 million for Nevada and seven other states to bolster GOP voter turnout on Election Day.

The Politico story suggests the ad campaign reflects a personal vendetta on the part of Rove, who has expressed his personal animus for Reid before, although Rove allies deny it. But if Reid loses in November, Rove’s fingerprints will be all over the scene.