Marc Ambinder’s take on Karl Rove, his detractors and admirers is worth a read. I think Rove is a cautionary tale for the GOP candidates on a couple of fronts. First, growing the GOP base has been only partially successful and it may be time to revert to a Reagan model– set out principles that attract voters beyond the base and appeal geographically and politically beyond core constituencies. There simply are not enough core Republicans to allow a GOP presidential candidate the luxury of ignoring Independents and moderates. Second, after you win you have to govern. Republicans who start with a skeptical view of government nevertheless need a vision of what they want to do once they are in power and an interest in reforming and operating the levers of government, cajoling Congress and selling themselves to the public. Criticism which lapses into disdain for government makes for poor governance. Although Republican may not have the same faith in the efficacy of government as Democrats they need to have a committment to making the government we do have effective and minimally competent. Whatever their strengths and weaknesses, at least Romney and Rudy have established track records and an obvious interest in actually governing. That seems an appropriate transition from the Rove-Bush era.