Presidential advisor and Republican strategist Karl Rove was in Colorado yesterday, urging Republians to choose former Owens advisor Dick Wadhams as head of the Colorado Republican Committee.

During a “repaint the state red dinner,” Rove said Republicans suffered a significant defeat in the November elections, but he said he takes a longer view of history and predicted voters will again turn to Republicans for leadership.

“We had a defeat. Can’t dress up that pig. We pick ourselves up off the mat, we stand on principle and we get back in the fight,” he told a cheering crowd of hundreds of supporters.

Wadhams took some lumps last year when he couldn’t save his Virginia senatorial candidate George Allen from self-destruction:

Wadhams managed the re-election campaign last year of Virginia GOP Sen. George Allen, who had been expected to cruise to a second term and make a run for the White House in 2008.

Allen was comfortably ahead in polls until August, when he referred to the son of Indian immigrants as “Macaca,” regarded by some as a racial slur. The incident, caught on videotape, became international news.