For years we heard people talking about how brilliant Rove was when it came to politics. I always disagreed with that. What Rove is good at is dirty tricks, spinning and lying. Calling him a "great political mind" is like calling a bank robber a "great businessman" or a rapist an "artful seducer of women". It's flat out lies.
To show what I am talking about let's look at what Rove said this week:
Why then the media's recent fascination with the supposed demise of the Republican Party? What are the reasons given for why, at least when it comes to the Republicans, "the party's over," as NEWSWEEK recently pronounced? First, we are told the GOP nomination has not been won "fairly quickly," as in recent contests. This is a horrible misremembering of history. The senior Bush took 45 days after the first contest to secure the nomination in 1988. It took Bob Dole 35 days to become the presumptive nominee in 1996. The current president took 45 days to clear the field in 2000. The first contest this year was on Jan. 3. Let's at least give the process until the middle or end of February before pundits start predicting doom because of how long it's taking. And if the Republican nomination not being settled is evidence of disaster, what does the Democratic nomination being up for grabs say? It's normal for both parties' nominees to be undecided at this point. The season is not moving too slowly. If anything, it is moving too quickly this time, with 38 contests in the first 33 days.
I haven't heard a lot of this talk of doom and gloom from the media that Rove is talking about. Yes they have talked about there being no clear front runner this earlier on, but this is where Rove spins it as a "misremembering of history".
This is 2008 - the year of the new primary calendar. You can't compare this year to other year's based upon the calendar. Things have totally changed and the media and pundits know that. Has Rove been sleeping under a rock?
There's another factor that Rove totally ignores - voter turn out. Take South Carolina, a rather red state. Democratic turn out was 20% higher than Republican in the primary. This is the key indicator in motivation. Democrats have energized their base this year (of course we need to thank George Bush for some help with that). The turnout in South Carolina also echoes what has happened in other early states. There is a serious trend showing higher democratic turnout.
So what Rove is doing is trying to distort the facts and give his party some "feel good" news. Remember though, this is the same Karl Rove that predicted the Republicans keeping control of the House and Senate in 2006. He couldn't have been more wrong on that one. He isn't brilliant - he's just a great spinner whose time has already peaked.