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  • Rove Gives Obama Advice

    Karl Rove, the guy who brought us Rev. Wright, gives Obama some pretty sound advice.

    Stop and Think About It: Obama needs the magic back

    By Karl Rove | NEWSWEEK

    May 5, 2008 Issue

    Four months ago, you took the political world by storm in Iowa. The media were agog. They called your words "gorgeous," your victory "a message to the world." You "made history" and Americans could "look at ourselves with pride" in "a moment to marvel."

    Times change. The six weeks leading into Pennsylvania were difficult. You excelled at raising money and gaining endorsements, but got weaker as big problems emerged. Before you can fix them, you must understand them. In Pennsylvania, you won only 30 percent among Catholics and 29 percent among white working-class voters. Defections like this elect Republicans.

    Even liberal commentators who adore you warn you can't win with a McGovern coalition of college students and white-wine sippers from the party's left wing. Saying small-town voters cling to guns, faith and xenophobia because of economic bitterness hurt you; it reinforced the growing sense you don't share Middle America's values. So did asking about the price of arugula in Iowa, dismissing the "true" patriotism of people who wear a flag lapel pin, being "friendly" (as your chief strategist, David Axelrod, put it) with a violent, unrepentant '60s radical and having a close relationship with an angry pastor who expressed anti-American sentiments.

    You argue the son of a single working mom can't be an elitist. But it's not where you start in life; it's where you end up. After a prestigious prep school, Columbia and Harvard, you've ended up with the values of Cambridge, San Francisco and Hyde Park. So you're doing badly in Scranton, Youngstown and Erie, where ordinary Americans live.

    HERE ARE SIX SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT TO DO.

    1. Your stump speech is sounding old and out of touch. You made a mistake by not giving the bored press (and voters) something new last Tuesday when you lost Pennsylvania. Come up with something fresh that's focused on the general election. Recapture the optimistic tone of your start and discard the weary, prickly and distracted tone you've taken on.

    2. When you get into trouble, pick one, simple explanation. And stay with it. Take the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. You said you weren't sitting in church when he said those ugly things. Two days later, you excused him, saying his comments didn't give "a well-rounded portrait" of him. Two days after that, you condemned his statements as "not only wrong but divisive" but still couldn't "disavow him" any more than you could your grandmother. Ten days later, you implied if Wright hadn't retired, you might have left his church. It would have been better to say from the start that Wright's words were wrong and offensive and you should have spoken out earlier. The applause would have been deafening.

    3. Your lack of achievements undercuts your core themes. It's powerful when you say America is not "Red States or Blue States but the United States." The problem is, you don't have a long Senate record of working across party lines. So build one. In the coming months, say that you'll appoint Republicans to your cabinet and get a couple to say they'd serve. Highlight initiatives Republicans can agree on. Most importantly, push for a bipartisan issue now before Congress.

    4. You speak of the "fierce urgency of now" that calls leaders to confront important challenges. Sounds good, but people are asking, what urgent issues have drawn your enormous talents? It's counterintuitive, but spend less time campaigning and more time working the Senate. Pick a big issue and fight hard for it. Win or lose, you'll give your argument substance.

    5. Stop the attacks. They undermine your claim to a post-partisan new politics. You soared when you seemed above politics, lost altitude when you did what you criticize. Attacks are momentarily satisfying but ultimately corrode your appeal.

    6. To answer growing questions about your inexperience, people need to know, in concrete and credible ways, what they can expect from you as president. That's missing now. And don't think those position papers written by academics and posted on the Web do the job. They have a check-the-box quality to them. Americans want to see your passion and commitment to things they care about, in ways that give them confidence you're up to the job. They can smell when something is poll-tested and focus-grouped, not from the heart. Also, you can't bluff anymore like you did on "Meet the Press" in October 2006. (You weren't officially running for president yet, but it's still telling.) Tim Russert pointed to the passage in "The Audacity of Hope" that says "no small number of government programs don't work as advertised," and he asked for an example. You cited Medicaid and Medicare, saying: "I think that there's no doubt that we could squeeze more efficiencies out of those systems there. Simple example, we don't use electronic billing for Medicare and Medicaid providers. Now there's no other business on earth that still has people filling out paper forms to get reimbursed, especially for a system that large. We could drastically reduce the costs of those systems."

    The only problem is, the Bush administration, building on the good work of the Clinton administration, already put in place in 2003 a regulation that requires electronic billing of Medicaid and Medicare. Since then, all but a handful have been electronic. You won't get a pass on bluffing anymore.

    You'll have to do both your homework and occasionally something that's difficult for you (and most other politicians): admit you don't know.
    You have talent, intelligence and tapped into something powerful early in your campaign. But running for president is unlike anything you've ever done. You're making mistakes and making people worry that you're an elitist. So while you'll almost certainly win the nomination, Democrats are nervous about the fall. You've given them reasons to be.


    http://www.newsweek.com/id/134322/page/1
    "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

    Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

    "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

  • #2
    One day, I hope to live in a world where Karl Rove is not given the benefit of the doubt.
    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kah View Post
      One day, I hope to live in a world where Karl Rove is not given the benefit of the doubt.
      My guess is that he will always be a thorn in your side.
      "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

      Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

      "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kah View Post
        One day, I hope to live in a world where Karl Rove is not given the benefit of the doubt.
        The fact that he could out a CIA agent and not only avoid jail, but also end up being rewarded with a Newsweek column and a FOX News analyst position is very sad.
        "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
        --Albert Einstein

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FAR52 View Post
          My guess is that he will always be a thorn in your side.
          Oh, he certainly will. I would just be happy, be very pleased, if he was not seen as a person to give commentary worthy of a column in "Newsweek".
          Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

          "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post
            The fact that he could out a CIA agent and not only avoid jail, but also end up being rewarded with a Newsweek column and a FOX News analyst position is very sad.
            I'm going to utilize a kah tactic and just say: "But of course he didn't."
            "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

            Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

            "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

            Comment


            • #7
              It's a good article.

              I have no doubt he could carry Obama to the Presidency.
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              "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
              -Barry Goldwater

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FAR52 View Post
                I'm going to utilize a kah tactic and just say: "But of course he didn't."
                I really don't want to wade back into this. But I will say this (wading back into it): He had no business doing what he did with Valerie Plame, and he suffered no consequence because of it.
                "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                --Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post
                  I really don't want to wade back into this. But I will say this (wading back into it): He had no business doing what he did with Valerie Plame, and he suffered no consequence because of it.
                  I'll be interested to see how the whole Siegelman thing plays out, and the extent of Rove's overall involvement.

                  Putting innocent people in jail b/c they belong to a different political party would seem to be more than simply "hardball".
                  From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

                  For more than 20 years I have endeavored-indeed, I have struggled-along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural & substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor.


                  I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

                  The path the Court has chosen lessens us all. I dissent.

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                  • #10
                    Did he mention anything about outing a CIA agent to your advantage?
                    Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post
                      I really don't want to wade back into this. But I will say this (wading back into it): He had no business doing what he did with Valerie Plame, and he suffered no consequence because of it.
                      But of course he didn't out her, so that is the end of the story. Damn, that feels really good. It's so easy, and requires absolutely no critical thinking on my part.
                      "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

                      Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

                      "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

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                      • #12
                        No mention of gay marriage?
                        His mind is not for rent, to any god or government.
                        Pointless debate is what we do here -- lvr

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                        • #13
                          Karl Rove is maybe the greatest political mind of his generation.

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                          • #14
                            Say what you will about the guy...he is very good at what he does.
                            Official Lounge Sponsor of Candy.


                            "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
                            -Barry Goldwater

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jeffro View Post
                              Karl Rove is maybe the greatest political mind of his generation.
                              http://www.npr.org/about/press/061024_rove.html

                              SIEGEL: We are in the home stretch though and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about...

                              ROVE: Not that you would exhibit a bias, you just making a comment.

                              SIEGEL: I'm looking at all the same polls that you are looking at.

                              ROVE: No, you are not. I'm looking at 68 polls a week for candidates for the US House and US Senate, and Governor and you may be looking at 4-5 public polls a week that talk attitudes nationally.

                              SIEGEL: I don't want to have you to call races...

                              ROVE: I'm looking at all of these Robert and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I'm entitled to THE math.

                              SIEGEL: I don't know if we're entitled to a different math but your...

                              ROVE: I said THE math.
                              Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                              "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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