Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie Lead Efforts to Organize GOP

In this Oct. 27, 2009, file photo, Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to former President George W. Bush answers a question before a debate healthcare at Penn State University in State College, Pa. In his new memoir Rove says President George W. Bush made the right decision to launch the Iraq war in 2003, but admits the failure to find weapons of mass destruction badly damaged the administration's credibility. (AP Photo/John Beale) AP

AP

Republicans think they have an opportunity this November to win back power in Washington, and two experienced GOP strategists are coordinating efforts to ensure their party makes the most of the elections this year and in years to come.

Karl Rove, chief political strategist in the Bush White House, and former Republican Party chairman Ed Gillespie are driving the growth and coordination of five right-wing political organizations, Politico reports, in an effort to emulate the organizational success Democrats have had in recent years.

The groups -- American Crossroads, the American Action Forum, American Action Network, Resurgent Republic and the Republican State Leadership Committee -- overlap in some respects but have different campaign specialties, such as fundraising, polling, voter turnout efforts, advertising and policy work.

The network of groups is modeled after Democracy Alliance, an umbrella group founded in 2005 and funded by George Soros and other left-wing billionaires, Politico reports. Gillespie told Politico the GOP has not kept up with the Democrats' organizing efforts.

"Where they have a chess piece on the board, we need a chess piece on the board," he said.

Some Democrats say the new Republican network could help the party in its attempt to regain the House majority even as formal party organizations struggle to keep up with the fundraising needed to finance all of their campaigns, Politico reports.

Republicans agree that Rove and Gillespie could help guide the party to victory in spite of recent doubts about the leadership of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, National Journal reoprts.

"The RNC is doing well with the Internet but not with major donors," an unnamed GOP operative told National Journal.

The pair organized a meeting at Rove's house last month where they rallied other Republican leaders in their network like former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman.

"It's fair to say that this kind of gathering will be occurring not infrequently," Coleman told National Journal, adding that Gillespie is "one of the most highly respected folks on the right. He's got a lot of friends and very few enemies."

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