April 3, 2008

IT'S LIKE OBAMA IS THE SWIMMER IN THE OPENING OF JAWS...:

Karl Rove Likes What He Sees: With his new gig at Fox and a seven-figure political memoir in the works, Karl Rove has officially crossed over from shadowy 'Wizard of Oz' territory to somewhat approachable public personality. But as Lisa DePaulo finds out, that doesn't mean he's any less…pointed with his opinions (BlogGQ, 4/02/08)

So how ugly is it gonna get?

Well, I—we don't know. We have geological ages that are gonna pass. It's not that ugly today. The wounds are fresh, but there's plenty of time for them to heal. The question is, will the wounds get deeper and more difficult to heal? We don't know. My gut tells me it happens, but I don't know.

If you could run one of their campaigns, which one would be the dream campaign to run?

Neither one.

Why?

Because I don't believe in what they say.

But just as a strategist, just to get in there and—

Yeah, well, see, for me it's not divorced from who they are and what they're all about and what they would do.

What did you think of the red-phone 3 a.m. ad?

It was a gutsy, dangerous move. She figured out that she had to do something to raise the issue of: Is he fit to be president? And this was a way to do it. I happened to be in Texas a week before the ad popped, and all of her surrogates were hitting him pretty hard on the thinness of his experience. They were pretty brutal. And this ad sort of fed into that.

Isn't that the kind of ad you would have done?

Uh, look, that's the problem. She can't run an ad—you know, the more powerful ads she can't run against him, because she's afraid of looking too moderate. He's got essentially… His argument is twofold. "Vote for me because I'll bring Republicans and Democrats together; we're not red states, blue states, we're the United States." And second of all—and he said this most passionately in the Wisconsin victory speech: "There are big issues facing the country, and it requires leadership and energy to solve them." Well, the two best counters to those are Hillary saying, "I've actually worked with Republicans and Democrats to get things done." Or McCain saying, even more pointedly, "On all the big issues where Republicans and Democrats have come together, I've been in the middle of bringing them together, and you've been way out there on the fringe. When we pulled together the Gang of Fourteen, you were out on the fringe. When we pulled together a bipartisan answer on the terrorist-surveillance program, you were way out there on the fringe. When Democrats and Republicans, regardless of where they were on the war, came together to give our troops everything they needed while they were in combat, you were way out there on the fringe." Now, she can do some of that, because she's actually tried to work with Republicans over the years. He has not since he got there. He's been coolly detached and sitting on the side. His fingerprints are on, at most, a couple of small items. And then, on the leadership issue, she can say, "Look, I've been in the middle of these big battles. I've been providing the leadership. Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost. But at least I've been involved." And McCain will be able to sharpen that even more.

It seems like you're talking about authenticity here. Are you saying Obama is inauthentic?

I'm saying that he has adopted two themes for his campaign that are not supported by his actions.

Do you think Obama would be easier to beat?

I try not to think about those things. Because that inevitably leads you to believe, I would like to have A or I would like to have B. You need to keep your mind open about both of them.

[...]

Are you surprised at how Obama exploded?

You know, I want to be careful—I think we need to be careful about not getting carried away with a narrative that doesn't truly exist. Like the story this morning in The New York Times about "the Obamacans"—the Republicans who support Obama.

You don't buy that?

No. Do I buy that there are Republicans who support Obama? Sure, I do. But take a look at the last four polls on which there are cross tabs available. There are twice as many Democrats defecting to McCain as there are Republicans defecting to Obama. In the Fox poll, Obama takes 74 percent of Democrats and loses 18 to McCain. And McCain keeps 80 percent of Republicans and loses 10 to Obama. And in every one of the polls, it's nearly twice as many Democrats defect to McCain as Republicans defect to Obama. And against Clinton, it's three times as many. Know why? Well, there are a lot of different reasons why. There are Democrats, particularly blue-collar Democrats, who defect to McCain because they see McCain as a patriotic figure and they see Obama as an elitist who's looking down his nose at 'em. Which he is. That comment where he said, you know, "After 9/11, I didn't wear a flag lapel pin because true patriotism consists of speaking out on the issues, not wearing a flag lapel pin"? Well, to a lot of ordinary people, putting that flag lapel pin on is true patriotism. It's a statement of their patriotic love of the country. And for him to sit there and dismiss it as he did—

You're not wearing a flag pin, Karl.

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. But I respect those who consciously get up in the morning and put a flag lapel pin on.

Do you see the elitist thing in other ways?

Obama is coolly detached and very arrogant. I think he's very smart and knows he's smart, but as a result doesn't do his homework.

So the Dems have two rattled candidates?

Right. Now, you got one candidate who's got an appeal to the blue-collar Democrats: Clinton. I call them the beer drinkers. And then you got the white-wine crowd, which Obama appeals to. There's a brilliant article by Ron Brownstein in the latest issue of National Journal in which he charts the change in the nature of the Democrat-primary vote, and it's becoming younger, more affluent, and more liberal. And that means that blue-collar Democrats, whatever's left of them, are on their way out of the Democratic Party. [...]

Do you think Obama's gotten a free ride from the press?

Yes.

How so?

I don't think they hold him to the same standards. You know, look, his Web site is full of all kinds of proposals written by academics galore. But he's not required to defend them. He's not required to explain what it is he wants to do. Now I think that's changing. I think, when you have an editorial in USA Today that says, in essence, Where's the beef, what's the substance? When reporters start asking him tough questions about his relationship with Tony Rezko—you know, what was the value of the lot? What was the price that you paid? How many fund-raisers did he do for you? How much money did he raise at those fund-raisers? When they start asking him those questions, then it starts to change. I mean, the kind of questions that have been routinely asked of other candidates—about their background and associations and involvements—have only recently begun to be asked of him.

I get the sense you respect Hillary more than you respect Obama.

Off the record?

Please don't go off the record.

Off the record… [Yeah, it's good. Sorry.]

Damn! Now say that on the record.

No. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Let's try again, then: on the record. I get the sense you respect her more than him.

Uh, I know her better than I know him. And I just, uh—she has been around public life a lot longer and has demonstrated, you know, more involvement than he has.


...and you can hear the music pulsing.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 3, 2008 2:00 PM
Comments

It all doesn't matter. With the media reports on the economy (allegedly the worst in all recorded history) and the war (allegedly American troops are being beaten like rented mules) and the environment (allegations of imminent doom which McCain subscribes by the way), any person with a D behind his name wins in November, even the black supremacist with the radical socialist agenda.

Posted by: Peter at April 4, 2008 2:09 AM

Which is why Dukakis beat Bush.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2008 7:39 AM

Yea but we know it was really white liberal elites who elected el Duka in order to assuage their guilt over 2000 years of Greek injustice in the world.

Posted by: Perry at April 4, 2008 8:19 AM
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