Permit me a moment’s chuckle as I consider the brilliant “journalism” of Politico.com. Here is an on-line “political news site” that brought to light claims by various parties against Herman Cain, along with other Pulitzer-Quality journalism that indicates just how spiffy they really are over at Politico. Now they’ve posted a story by Kenneth Vogel and Keach Hagey speculating on the possibility that Karl Rove is assisting Mitt Romney. Now that’s journalism! Heck, that may qualify as outright rocket science. I find the article laughable, but for the fact that they seem to be quite serious in their approach, a fact that makes the article all the more excruciatingly gut-busting. Let’s be honest, shall we? That they’ve only now arrived at the conclusion that Karl Rove might be pushing for one particular candidate is embarrassing. Where have these guys been?
As their opening argument, they offered this:
“But it’s hard to miss, among all of Rove’s Fox commentary and Wall Street Journal columns, that he seems to favor one candidate over the others.”
No way! Shocking! Karl Rove favors one candidate over the others? Is it possible?
“Over the last year, Rove has used these powerful media platforms to systematically undercut every rising Romney challenger in succession while lauding Romney’s victories as “historic.” The pattern has gotten under the skin of the supporters of Romney’s challengers, who argue that Rove has more ties to Romney and his super PAC than he is disclosing to his media audiences, and thus has no business assessing the Republican primary race as a purportedly independent analyst.”
I’d like to know what this pair of investigative gurus have been doing these last eight months. In fairness, I will say they have done an excellent job of laying out some pertinent facts about Rove’s connections to Romney via his SuperPac, American Crossroads GPS. What I couldn’t quite understand was why they suddenly felt the need to tell us what has been painfully obvious for some time, but they managed to tell us why they’re really concerned about Karl Rove’s machinations at this late date anyway:
“Santorum and Gingrich are both former Fox News contributors, and have been beating Romney handily, in terms of airtime, on the so-called “Fox News primary” throughout the campaign. But they are not winning the all-important Karl Rove Primary – significant both for his media prominence and his association with the super PAC American Crossroads and a sister group that together plan to spend as much as $300 million attacking President Barack Obama and other Democrats in the general election.”
That makes more sense. It’s not that the writers are so concerned for the unfairness they document in Rove’s treatment of other candidates so much as the fact that Rove will certainly be turning his powerful machine against Barack Obama. Nevertheless, they did manage to put up a list of Rove’s dirty deeds, and it seems to match with what I have seen:
- When Romney was being ridiculed for offering to bet Rick Perry $10,000 in last December’s debate, Rove told Hannity he “didn’t think it was a big mistake,” and then pivoted to attacking Gingrich for his talk of a lunar base.
- Later that month, when Gingrich complained about being carpet-bombed by negative ads paid for by Romney’s super PAC in Iowa, Rove called him a “whiner.”
- When Gingrich was leading the polls in January, Rove dinged Gingrich for calling Romney “a liberal” and suggesting that poor children should work as janitors in schools.
- In mid-February, as Santorum was coming off a batch of wins, Rove said Santorum’s views on contraception, particularly within the bounds of marriage, “appears to be judgmental,” before going on to call Gingrich a “whiner” once again.
- As things were looking close between Romney and Santorum in Michigan, Rove accused the press of “rooting for Santorum to win even though they are hammering him with a lot of social things” because “the media is rooting for Obama to win.”
- On the night of the Michigan and Arizona primaries, he echoed the Romney campaign’s complaints about Santorum’s robocalls to Democrats and called out Santorum for labeling Obama a “snob” for wanting everyone to have a college education. That, Rove said, “hurt more than what you might think” because “most of us believe that higher education is a means for prosperity.”
- In his Wall Street Journal column following those primaries, he declared the primary “solidly in Mitt Romney’s direction” and proceeded to reiterate Santorum’s “unforced errors,” from the college comment to his dismissal of John F. Kennedy’s speech about the separation between church and state.
- Even when Rove is critical of Romney, as he was in a Feb. 1 Journal column declaring the “Romney campaign is tilted too heavily toward biography and not nearly enough toward ideas,” he acts like a supportive adviser doling out constructive criticism, tossing in lines boosting Romney and chiding Gingrich for their respective handling of Paul Ryan’s budget.
That’s a pretty decent laundry list of recent Rove doings, but as they point out, there are more complete lists including Tommy Christopher’s at Mediaite, penned back in December, noting that Rove was doing a number on Gingrich at the time, but he listed many others.
Of course, it’s difficult to say with any precision what may be lingering between Karl Rove’s ears. I’ve never had any particular problem expressing my own concerns about his whiteboard antics on FoxNews, including some of the garbage he was heaving in the direction of Sarah Palin late last summer. As The Politico piece concludes, Rove is part of the GOP establishment now, and his antics merely prove the point that if he’s involved, it’s because he has a dog in this hunt, as I asserted all those months ago. As I said then, Karl Rove is a master manipulator and this is how he operates. None of this is surprising to me, and I’m stunned that it’s taken Politico this long to notice.