President Bush’s top political advisor was in Iowa Monday headlining private fundraising events for two congressional candidates in Iowa. Karl Rove spoke at a fundraiser for first congressional district candidate Mike Whalen Monday afternoon in Waterloo.
Monday night, Rove was the featured guest at a Des Moines fundraiser for third district congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti. “He’s an important leader,” Lamberti says. “In the last two weeks I’ve had events with the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and now we have the top political advisor to the White House.” Lamberti says that list demonstrates that if elected, he’d be able to work with party insiders and “produce results.”
Iowa Democrats were quick to criticize Rove’s campaigning in Iowa. The Democratic Party issued a news release titled “Congratulations for Not Being Indicted Karl Rove” — a reference to last week’s announcement that Rove would not be indicted as part of a prosecutor’s probe of a White House leak that led to the public outing of a covert government agent.
Iowa’s top elected Democrat, Governor Tom Vilsack, says he’s happy to welcome Rove to Iowa. “(Rove’s) going to continue to motivate people to take a real hard look at the failings of this administration and the need for a congress that will do a better job,” Vilsack says.
Lamberti, the G-O-P candidate in the third congressional district, shrugs off that charge. “I understand that Democrats don’t like Karl Rove primarily because he’s successful and success is winning elections,” Lamberti says. “We don’t see any downside because he’s an important national leader.” At the request of the White House, both of Rove’s appearances in Iowa on Monday were closed to reporters .