Ending Rove

Why in the world does the NYTimes persist in making writers like Frank Rich inaccessible to the world, and therefore irrelevant to the debate. Who knows!  Anyway, some blogger out there doesn't care about pay-to-read firewalls, and I found the entire article online, Frank Rich, He Got Out While the Getting Was Good. Great read, here's the end:

...Last weekend's Iowa straw poll was a more somber but equally anachronistic spectacle. Again, it's a young conservative commentator, Ryan Sager, writing in The New York Sun, who put it best: "The face of the Republican Party in Iowa is the face of a losing party, full of hatred toward immigrants, lust for government subsidies, and the demand that any Republican seeking the office of the presidency acknowledge that he's little more than Jesus Christ's running mate."

That face, at once contemptuous and greedy and self-righteous, is Karl Rove's face. Unless someone in his party rolls out a revolutionary new product, it is indelible enough to serve as the Republican brand for a generation.

Rove was also asked about the LATimes article, and why he would criticize Clinton but not Obama, and he passed, saying ,
"I've said enough,'' said Rove, asked if he actually is promoting the notion of Clinton's candidacy with his criticism for her because he fears Obama. "I read that in the L.A. Times this morning - those guys in L.A. really need to get clued in.''
That LATimes writer recalled what Dowd explained they was doing in January to February 2004, in order to explain possibly why Rove was attacking Clinton this week; wrote Peter Wallsten writes:
...The decision to focus on the New York senator to the exclusion of other potentially formidable Democratic standard-bearers such as Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois offered a rare glimpse into a world where things are not always what they seem -- the world of modern-day electioneering, whose denizens often prefer going from A to B by way of Z....

In this case, Rove's weeklong broadside against Clinton -- which he is expected to repeat in multiple appearances on television talk shows today -- looks suspiciously like an exercise in reverse psychology that his team employed three years ago when it was preparing for President Bush's reelection bid.

The ploy was described by Rove lieutenant Matthew Dowd during a postmortem conference on the 2004 election at Harvard University the month after Bush defeated Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

In the run-up to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when it was not yet clear who Bush's opponent would be that November, Rove and his aides had begun to fear that their most dangerous foe would be then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

With his Southern base, charismatic style and populist message, Edwards, they believed, could be a real threat to Bush's reelection.

But instead of attacking Edwards, Rove's team opened fire at Kerry.

Their thinking went like this, Dowd explained: Democrats, in a knee-jerk reaction to GOP attacks, would rally around Kerry, whom Rove considered a comparatively weak opponent, and make him the party's nominee. Thus Bush would be spared from confronting Edwards, the candidate Republican strategists actually feared most.

Unlike Kerry, who had been in public service for decades, Edwards was a political newcomer and lacked a long record that could be attacked. And, unlike former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who had been the front-runner but whose campaign was collapsing in Iowa, Edwards couldn't easily be painted as "nutty."

If that sounds implausibly convoluted, consider Dowd's own words:

"Whomever we attacked was going to be emboldened in Democratic primary voters' minds.

"So we started attacking John Kerry a lot in the end of January because we were very worried about John Edwards," Dowd said. "And we knew that if we focused on John Kerry, Democratic primary voters would sort of coalesce" around Kerry.

"It wasn't like we could tag [eliminate] somebody. Whomever we attacked was going to be helped," he said.

I do tend to believe that last line of Dowd is how things usually play out, but am doubtful that Rove is calling any shots. After his debacle that Frank Rich describes so well in that article linked above, No one in Republican politics is going to let Rove lead them in messaging against the Democrats. It's my guess that Rove is just trying to stay relevant for 2008, as an attack dog against Clinton. I doubt he'd be signing on to a campaign, but I could see him involved in a 527 attack machine against the Democrats.

In the debate today Clinton's response about her negatives was spot on, saying:

"The idea that you're going to escape the Republican attack machine and not have high negatives by the time they're through with you, I think, is missing what's been going on in American politics for the last twenty years."
Clinton ended with, "I know how to beat them."

The Obama response tackles the "I'm your gal" line that Clinton used to describe her ability ["If you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I'm your girl."] to beat Republicans by saying:

"If you want somebody who can bring the country together around a common purpose and rally us around a common destiny, then I'm your guy."
That's it in a nutshell, on Clinton vs Obama: pragmatic partisanship that wins vs the hope for an idealistic bipartisan politics, isn't it?

Tags: Karl Rove (all tags)

Comments

44 Comments

Re: Ending Rove

Why in the world does the NYTimes persist in making writers like Frank Rich inaccessible to the world, and therefore irrelevant to the debate. Who knows!

I forgot where I read it but the NYT is getting rid of Times Select (paying for certain articles)very soon. They only thing they're waiting on are their IT guys to reprogram the site.

by world dictator 2007-08-19 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

I read that too. In the meantime, Rich's columns generally appear on TruthOut a day or so after they are published. I've been reading them there.

by Books Alive 2007-08-19 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

Not if they think the bipartisan candidate is the Republicans best chance.  Rove annointed Kerry the Republican nominee in 2004.  Makes sense.  Kerry was a "Massachussets Liberal"  etc. etc.  He was easy to mess with.  It made sense.  

The Republican candidates themselves don't seem to understand the concept of "annointing" and reverse psychology because they attack anyone they can to try to get a leg up in their own race.  As of right now these are the things people should be looking for.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-08-19 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

I don't think Rove is trying to help Clinton. He doesn't need to help her.  She's winning.  But screw Rove.  We can't let him pick our nominee.  Hillary is going to put that old dog out to pasture.  

by bookgrl 2007-08-19 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

Actually he's putting himself out, remember?  And why would he be pushing a candidate forward?  Hmm?  Because he's resigning he's done doing "real work"?  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-08-19 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

Why is Rove pushing a candidate forward?

My answer to that is, why should I care? I'm not about to play double-banked-left-english-combo-in-the- side-pocket mind-reading games with Rove about what he really meant and what he wants.

I will simply ignore whatever he says about Democrats.

by Trickster 2007-08-19 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

That's it in a nutshell, on Clinton vs Obama: pragmatic partisanship that wins vs the hope for an idealistic bipartisan politics, isn't it?

Jerome if you think Hillary is a better canidate than Obama just say it!

Obama unlike Hillary may change his tone to win votes on non-partisons while Hillay changes her positions to avoid being seen as a "liberal" from the Iraq war, flag burning to video game violence to meedle exhanges, Hillary has sold out while Obama tries to bring others into the fold. Obama wan't to be a liberaldemocratic president who's not hated by half the country, Hillary want's to be a partison polarizer who will suceed by triangulation and focus grouped nuance.

by nevadadem 2007-08-19 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

A better candidate?  Yea, isn't that obvious to everyone but those like you that think Obama went up in the polls and improved his chances over the past month?

But the question isn't about your obsession with whom I am behind (I really don't feel like getting behind anyone, and would rather just be critical and observant at this time), but which of those directions is going to win the primary?

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-19 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

perhaps winning polls in August isn't as important as setting up the dynamics of the race later on. Why don't you post the comments from the Fox and MSNBC focus groups of Iowa voters on the front-page instead of the not so subtle digs at Obama that you have become so famous for? it seems that among the voters who care in Iowa thoguht Obama was by far the best. You eevn make the point that Rove is trying to get Hillary the nomination but then say her retort was spot on, so do you agree with me that the Whitehouse/Clinton  stuff is all set up to benifet both the HRC campaign and the Republicans.

by nevadadem 2007-08-19 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove
Ha, I still think the criminally amoral corrupt dog has it right about our best candidate though, as I've said before, Edwards is the best progressive we have, and the most electable, and the one to change the system for generations.

Their worst fear.

Returning democracy to America.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.

As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption of high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed.

I feel more anxiety at this moment for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."


President Abraham Lincoln, November 21st, 1864
by inexile 2007-08-19 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

and after reading the La Times article anyone thinking that the whitehouse and Rove aren't doing everything in thier power to get Hillary the nomination is deluding themselves. Hillary is the Republicans party's only hope for a generation on so many levels even if she was to win a narrow general election victory.

by nevadadem 2007-08-19 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

So? They're idiots.

by Trickster 2007-08-19 02:34PM | 0 recs
Atrios says it

Even educated fleas say it.

The greatest thing about Rove leaving is that hopefully, finally, we'll stop with the quintuple reverse judo inverse mindfuck attempts to understand every move by the Republicans and the Bush administration. Sometimes they just have no idea what they're doing.

Let's say it. They're idiots.

by Trickster 2007-08-19 07:58PM | 0 recs
Does Armstrong EVER stop his Obama hatred?

I come to this site occasionally, and each time I come Armstrong has a new Obama attack.

I thought this site was for Democrats.

I think healthy criticism of a candidate is great.

But, attack-after-attack, day-after-day, hour-after-hour, issue-after-issue is only designed to tear down a candidate, not to offer healthy criticism. Tearing down a Democratic candidate is not a healthy behavior for Democrats.

I don't mind if Armstrong doesn't care for Obama. But NO candidate deserves this!

We should remember that we're all on the same team here.

by fatcat 2007-08-19 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Armstrong EVER stop his Obama hatred?

What kind of Obama-drink makes you think this post is in any way an attack?  What specifically is attacking Obama in the post that makes you rage on diabolically as such?

The ironic thing here, is that you are claiming in the name of partisanship that no one even blog, with a quote, what Obama says his hope is all about.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-19 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Armstrong EVER stop his Obama hatred?

"Clinton vs Obama: pragmatic partisanship that wins vs the hope for an idealistic bipartisan politics"

Note: "that wins" (unlike Obama the hopeless idealist right?).

Look, most people don't care if you are anti-Obama. What is ridculous is that you are denying it, like you do above. Just come clean and say that he is at the bottom of your list (as it seems). I still don't think that it excuses your endless (and sometimes unfair) attacks on him, but it's your blog and you are entitled to post whatever you want. Myself, I am most suprised that a former Warner guy turns against bipartisanship talk. Wasn't Mark Warner the king of bipartisanship?

by Populism2008 2007-08-19 11:26AM | 0 recs
Exactly!

Armstrong is not for healthy debate.

He seems like he wants to tear Obama down at all costs.

Democrats need to be united.

by fatcat 2007-08-19 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Armstrong EVER stop his Obama hatred?

Well, you obviously don't know the role I had in Warner's campaign, where I was always pushing him to be more partisan-- ya know, I wanted him to be able to win the primary and all...

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-19 11:35AM | 0 recs
"Obama Drink"?????

That's a very mature thing to say, Armstrong!

Let's not personally attack each other!

by fatcat 2007-08-19 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: "Obama Drink"?????

Quit cluttering up the thread with this nonsense.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-19 11:32AM | 0 recs
Again, very mature!

by fatcat 2007-08-19 11:33AM | 0 recs
No kidding Fatcat...

Yet some people can't seem to stop avoiding any democratic candidate whether that be Obama, Clinton, etc....this is about electing democrats......to do a constant non constructive criticism against them only helps Republicans...

Also "nevadadem", you're constant useless blabbering and incoherent statements make me ashamed your from the same state as me.

by werd2406 2007-08-19 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Armstrong EVER stop his Obama hatred?

First,

Why do you have to lower a discussion by saying I'm drinking an "Obama drink"?

I didn't personally attack you. You're being immature.

I was referring to your last comment about Obama's "idealistic" bipartisanship.

You just seem to have an axe to grind, that's all. And I'm just saying, we're all on the same team.

If you don't like Obama, then fine. But each time I come here, you are in full Obama attack mode.

We're all on the same team here, Jerome!

by fatcat 2007-08-19 11:21AM | 0 recs
What kind of drink are you replying to?

lol, I think you need to learn how the 'reply to' system works; I didn't know you were referring to a comment when you replied to the post, nor does this comment reply to to my reply... whatever.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-19 11:26AM | 0 recs
Also

Also I dont beleive Jermoe hates obama or anything....by saying you dont think hes ready or is a little unexperienced or what not does not make you "hate a candidate"

by werd2406 2007-08-19 11:20AM | 0 recs
Oh, come on...

You'll notice I agreed with this in my post. HEALTHY DEBATE IS GREAT! That's what I said.

But Armstrong is not engaging in healthy debate. Obama is tearing down a fellow Democrat with non-stop attacks.

He's even attacking ME for saying something.

Look at his response to me. He said I'm drinking an "Obama drink". That's not healthy, mature discussion.

by fatcat 2007-08-19 11:24AM | 0 recs
Your Obama Drink

That was a reference to your bizarre comment in reply to the blog post (how am I supposed to know that you are replying to a comment I made instead?). If you took offense that I was not guessing you were replying to a comment when you replied to the blog post with that bizarre rant, no offense meant.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-08-19 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Your Obama Drink

Stop being a hater.  And by hater, I mean someone who posts mostly neutral analysis.

by Matt Stoller 2007-08-19 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, come on...

I think Jerome has bent over backwards to be fair.

by robliberal 2007-08-19 12:10PM | 0 recs
Obama gets a lot wrong.

He said something to the effect of the problems were there before Bill Clinton.  Well, sure, problems in government didn't start with Bush, but Bush's plan when he became president was literally to do everything opposite Clinton.  He sounds like Lieberman to me.  I disagree with him immensely on how he defines the current problems in the federal government today, and how the next president can solve them.

by bookgrl 2007-08-19 11:33AM | 0 recs
Obama has it right.

Obama was right when he said that we have many serious problems that span multiple presidencies, not just Bush's.  

He said, "whether it's health care or a bold energy strategy or schools that aren't producing young people that can compete on the global stage, those are problems that pre-date the Bush administration."

He described them as American problems, not republican or democratic problems and said that "we're going to need somebody who can break out of the political patterns that we've been in over the last 20 years" and "bring the country together around a common purpose."

He's far from a Lieberman candidate.  His solutions are far from Lieberberman solutions.  But if you think you must demonize all republicans to be a good democrat, then he's not for you.

by CeeCee34 2007-08-19 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has it right.

I think your wrong.  Bill CLinton was a good president.  Bush has been particularly awful, and the Republican party has steered this country right since the days of Reagan. I think when you lump the parties together you concede the point that Bush and his Party have been a disaster for the country.  I do think he sounds like Lieberman, and I don't find his plans particularly bold.  

I'm not concerned with demonizing anyone, but you are right, he isn't for me.  I'll vote for him if he is the nominee, though.

by bookgrl 2007-08-19 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has it right.

Glad to hear you'll support him if he's the nominee.  I, too, will support the eventual nominee whoever he/she may be.

I would still like to defend Obama on the point in question, however.  You always have to look at the totality of what a candidate says on a topic and not just isolate one piece of a larger picture.

Obama has aimed plenty of criticism directly at the Bush/Cheney regime.  He has not let them off the hook by any means for their malfeasance in Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, tax cuts for the wealthy, US attorney scandal, incompetent appointments etc etc.  He does not equate them with democratic administrations.

But what he did recognize in today's debate was that certain very large problems such as health care have been with us for a very long time.  Just getting Bush out of office is not enough to solve them.

To get truly big change in the country, you need some broad-based support for it from Americans generally.  You can't do it with a 50 + 1 type of "mandate" from a polarized electorate.  

To achieve the really big changes that most of us progressives want, you are best served by a unifying force at the head of the government.  And Barack Obama is most equipped by nature, intellect and character to be that unifying force.  

That's why he is in the race so early in his national career rather than waiting until 2016.  The need for his particular skillset is so great right now, after 8 disastrous, divisive years of George Bush.

by CeeCee34 2007-08-19 08:48PM | 0 recs
Sorry, I meant Bush not "Bill Clinton"

by bookgrl 2007-08-19 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

"That's it in a nutshell, on Clinton vs Obama: pragmatic partisanship that wins vs the hope for an idealistic bipartisan politics, isn't it?"

Why are the Obama supporters up in arms about this phrasing.  Obama is trying to reach beyond divide. In fact, when asked about Hillary and her electability in terms of her negatives, he immediately went into his time for change argument.  He basically said that there were problems in Washington that pre-dated the Bush administration (who was there before Bush-Bill Clinton) and winning shouldn't be about dividing the states into red or blue, but a consensus that rallies around a common destiny.  It took Edwards to point out that the Repubs were in charge for 13yrs and the Democrats were put back in charge in 2006 because the people were sick of the Repubs.

Obama believes that both parties are at fault for the state of the nation and he will be able to bring the red/blue Congress together, unlike Edwards or Hillary.  Why is it then off limits to have a discussion as to whether Obama's bipartisan approach is realistic.

by Kingstongirl 2007-08-19 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

OK, i think the problem here is less the substance and more the attitude.  I don't think any obama supporters would be irritated with a discussion over who will have more bipartisan appeal in the general election.  However, it's the condescending nature of the commentary directed at obama that rubs me the wrong way; and i think it would bother me regardless of who it was targetting.  

In the first place, I get this really cynical vibe from jerome that just really wants to trash obama's "hope-based" message.  I feel that to a certain extent, it's not the policies or anything else about obama that irritates him, rather, he's just offended by his desire to break away from the vicious partisanship of the past few election cycles.  I mean, it's not like we're talking about a closet conservative here.  I think it's the whole "audactiy of hope" thing that jerome just feels he's got to tear down.  It's almost as if he feels that he would have to lower himself to a different level to accept the degree of optimism that the obama campaign is running on.  Or perhaps jerome thinks he's seen enough of politics to know that only a brassknuckles campaign can win, and appealing to people's loftier ideals is a losing bet.  I'm not sure.  But I feel an intense resistance from jerome to the obama campaign in general that doesn't seem to be rooted in any specific action that the campaign makes, and rather seems to be based on something more subjective.

Secondly, comments about obama drinks and the like are just unneccessary and divisive.  

by bluedavid 2007-08-19 12:43PM | 0 recs
'Light the Passion, Share the Dream'.

I'll sum up the past 7 years of the magnitude of what Rove managed to accomplish by using this newly created Chinese slogan.

While Rove had the Republicans gorging on everything they could get their sweaty palms on, and had the Democrats zipping up their undone flies, the Russians have been the first to reach the Arctic seabed and the Chinese are building highways to Mount Everest:
Operation:  'Light the Passion, Share the Dream'.

The 'American Dream' has been turned into a nightmare.

by hazmaq 2007-08-19 12:31PM | 0 recs
for the record

Hillary got fewer votes in her New York races than Al Gore (2000) or Elliot Spitzer (2006.)  

by John DE 2007-08-19 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: for the record

and more than bush

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-20 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: for the record

let me clarify that, she picked up some of the couties that went to bush in 2004

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-20 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: for the record

grr- Counties

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-20 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: for the record

Clinton, Gore and Spitzer were all running for different offices, and all got huge majorities. I don't think the small differences in their overwhelming support can be used to extrapolate to anyone's performance in other states or in future races.

Clinton will win the NY Dem primary in '08. I think everyone already takes that as a given.

by De Re Rustica 2007-08-24 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

At this point in our history, when the destructive policies of Bush and the GOP have caused so much grief and destruction, including the erosion of our Constitution, we must elect a candidate who is ready to lay the blame at the feet of the GOP at every opportunity and to fight like absolute hell to make sure the Dems take back the Whitehouse in 2009.  I listen to Obama and I wonder if he is even aware of the extent of the damage that the Republicans have caused. He does NOT present himself as a fighter.  We need a fighter; and we need a nominee who talks about the fight ahead and warns the GOP that she's ready for it and won't be defeated.  I wish all of our candidates took this approach; and I do believe the majority of Democrats feel the same way and that is why they are choosing Hillary over Obama in the polls.

Does Barack Obama believe that Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney are going to "play nice" in the general election?  Does he believe his new politics of hope and unity will rub off on Rudy Giuliani?

Jerome is right to say Hillary was spot on when she said the following:

"The idea that you're going to escape the Republican attack machine and not have high negatives by the time they're through with you, I think, is missing what's been going on in American politics for the last twenty years."

"I know how to beat them."

We need a fighter to ensure we do not end up with another Republican President.  Once the Dems are back in power, there will be lots of time for conciliation and working together with the GOP.

by samueldem 2007-08-20 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Ending Rove

I think it would also be beneficial for supporters of all our candidates to take the time to research Rudy Giuliani.  I believe he is going to be elected the Repub nominee.  Read about his past; his temperament, the things he did to the poor and disenfranchised in NYC.  Read about all of his violations of the First Amendment.  There has been so much focus on his family, his marriages, etc.  I don't care if the guy has had ten wives.  I know what he will do if he is elected President.  I saw what he did to my city. I know his enemies. He's a ruthless sonofabitch.  If we don't elect a candidate who will attack him right from the start, in the general election, then the Democratic Party is doomed.  And remember that Rudy has assembled a team of the worst thugs, including T. Boone Pickens, the guy who financed the swiftboating of John Kerry.

I recently heard Michelle Obama give a speech about fear; about how she is so tired of fear. My message to Michelle (and Barack):  Fear Rudy.  Do not put anything past him.  Don't even think about going up against him if you aren't ready to tear him to pieces right at the start.  

by samueldem 2007-08-20 06:13AM | 0 recs

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