The Return of Karl Rove

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Michael Shay

Photographed Febuary 10th, 2010, as part of the World Affairs Council of Oregon's International Speaker Series, Portland, Oregon

When Karl Rove left the Bush White House in 2007, he was a battered figure. The President whose two elections he had engineered had become unloved by all but die-hard Republicans. Democrats had won back control of the Congress, and they would soon reclaim the White House in the 2008 election.

But after a brief hiatus from campaign politics, The Architect, as George W. Bush called him, is back. Today Karl Rove is the mastermind of a Republican money machine that is pummeling Barack Obama and the Democrats with hundreds of millions of dollars in attack ads. Fueled by a surge of giant conservative donations in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, Rove’s American Crossroads, along with its allied conservative groups, are hoping to bury Democrats in money this fall. And as my colleague Michael Scherer writes, liberals are struggling to raise the money they’ll need to defend themselves.

Recently remarried and paid $40,000 or more per speech, Rove is loving his new life. “I’m having an enormous amount of fun,” he told me in an interview at his rented office near Washington’s Dupont Circle, where he spends the several dozen days a year he’s not traveling or in his home town of Austin, Texas. Rove discussed his return to the center of American politics, how he helped to create the most formidable campaign advertising juggernaut in American history, and the liberals who still accost him in public to accuse him of “ruining” America.

“I’m not a human being,” Rove says in wonderment. “I’m a myth.”

Rove also recounted a dramatic encounter he had with the man he spends his days trying to put out of a job, Barack Obama, when he visited the White House in May for George W. Bush’s official portrait hanging ceremony.

“You’re working to get my picture hung pre­maturely,” Obama said to Rove. To find out what Rove said to the president in response, pick up a print edition of TIME magazine, or subscribe and  read the story online.

78 comments
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bartleby69
bartleby69

“I’m not a human being,” Rove says in horror. “I’m a sewer rat.”

Randy Miller
Randy Miller

Carl Rove is raising hundreds of millions of dollars to help Mitt Romney get elected, with the expectation that he is going to have some major influence in Romney's decision making.  For all those people who say that Obama should quit running against George Bush's record, I would remind them that Rove was called "Bush's Brain" and "The Architect". Bush might be gone, but Carl Rove is definitely trying to come back to a position of power if Mitt Romney wins.  So, do the American people really want Rove's policies to return?

john
john

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Marry
Marry

my

co-worker's mom earned $19720 the prior week. she is working on the

internet and got a $376100 home. All she did was get fortunate and put

to work the information exposed on this web site

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Len Simpson
Len Simpson

There are many, many, Karl Roves in foggy bottom.

 Our Ship of State is riding low in the water

Dan5404
Dan5404

Still bought and paid for and in big oil billionaires' hip pocket.  No change.

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

I read Karl Rove's book and was impressed at his resilience and ascension into political king making status.

Even when he was homeless he still focused on his life goals and worked towards achieving them. He had a life full of tragedy, dysfunctionality and squalor, yet he prevailed. An interesting American story.

However, Rove is the scariest person I have followed in politics. He seems detached, and uncaring. The coldness in his eyes and the decisions Bush made, while under the Rove tutuledge machine were horrifying.  Rove's smug arrogance and willingness to do or say anything, because of his perceived position as untouchable, is terrible.

As for Libby, if he had ratted on any of the others, he would have had his face shot off "by mistake" or who knows what else could have "befallen" him.

That was an administration under Rove, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld that believed in force, fear, and any means justified the end. It was almost like being in communist China.

Now Rove is Romney's adviser and helper. That is worse than Romney's ineptitude because it conjures the picture of the young college drop out, Rove, who could do anything, and would do everything to make sure his needs and desires come to fruition. What he plans is what he wants, America be damned.

Its the Rove way or the dirt path. Truly sad.

http://blackrepublicanandmywor...

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

This makes me want to read his book, but I'd get it at the library so I could avoid contributing to his resurgence of power, which clearly seems akin to Voldemort  returning . Muggles beware!

3xfire3
3xfire3

Libtards = Brainwashed, brain dead, Kool-Aid drinkers who have zero understanding of reality or of the vast majority of Americans.

That's why they will lose in November.

StanleyCupp
StanleyCupp

 Now I see why you're so angry.

Barack Obama’s standing in the FiveThirtyEight forecast reached its

strongest position to date on Tuesday as a result of favorable polls in a

set of swing states. The forecast model now gives Mr. Obama a 70.8

percent chance of winning the Electoral College, up from 69.0 percent on

Monday and from 65.0 percent last Tuesday.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

3x-

First rule - No name calling, it makes for a weak argument and takes everything down to a pretty low level.

Second rule-Try to stay on topic--what does this have to do with Karl Rove?

Third rule- There aren't any real rules- obviously- or else your comment would not be published. Laughing! ;) wink ;wink (Sarah Palin style winks)

outsider2011
outsider2011

 I really hope you come in on Nov 5th - take your lumps like a man 3x.

You wanted Romney - and no one else did (well, the dems did).

I hope you can take your big beat down better than you handle your daily beat down here, each day.

3xfire3
3xfire3

Obama will lose in a landslide. I'm giving 5 to 1 odds. Any takers?

outsider2011
outsider2011

 If BO loses 5 to 1, i'll happily stay away for a month - as you did last time.

Stanley, last time 3x made that bet, he kept it.

If anything else happens - will you do the same?

No posts for a month.

Deal?

StanleyCupp
StanleyCupp

Why would anyone bet you. You are not an honorable person.

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

Karl Rove is a guy linked very closely with George W Bush and Mitt Romney would be ill advisedto be aligned too closely with the Mr. Rove.

 I suppose many of you have already seen this, but here is something that was being shared alot(OK its viral)  on Facebook:

"Rules of Engagement for 2012 Political Discussions"

RULE 1. If you voted for George W. Bush twice, please don't give me political advice.

RULE 2.If you are getting ready to make a snide remark about my voting for President Obama, please refer to Rule #1.

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

 What were the alternatives to Bush? Al Gore appears mentally ill and John Kerry based his whole campaign on the lie that he was a war hero.

filmnoia
filmnoia

I think you are  just waiting to hook up with Rove so you can indulge in your monthly Cleveland steamer. Especially now that Tim McVeigh  and Andrew Breitbart are no longer around

apr2563
apr2563

Look into those evil eyes.

sacredh
sacredh

"The Return of Karl Rove"

.

Haha. Frodo threw the One Ring into the fires at Mount Doom. Better luck next time Karl.

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

It is Roves job to polish a turd. Let us leave it at that.

sacredh
sacredh

Mitt, just because you have a stripe in your underwear doesn't mean that it's Gucci.

armynod
armynod

This guy won't be happy until the Country becomes a Serfdom.

filmnoia
filmnoia

Rove's picture is perfect for a dartboard. Two-legged trash. A water boy, the Gunga Din of the 1%.

BOLTFANDAN
BOLTFANDAN

 I prefer the picture of the "Mr Monkey Ears" on my dart board .

MrObvious
MrObvious

“I’m not a human being,” Rove says in wonderment.

“I’m a myth.”

More like a horses arse

reflectionephemeral
reflectionephemeral

Rove is still powerful because the GOP is still George W. Bush from top to bottom. 

Grover Norquist was described as “the field marshal of the Bush agenda in Congress” by an aide to Dick Armey. Paul Ryan voted with the Bush administration 94 percent of the time, including on Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind, plus the Iraq occupation amp; Bush fiscal policies that created our current deficits. Mitch McConnell amp; John Boehner were on board, indeed driving forces, for all those policies. 

No matter how disastrous his client's presidency was for America, Rove knows how to make whites experience resentment, so he'll always be welcome in the GOP.

No one who cares about policy votes for Republicans.

3xfire3
3xfire3

Not out of context. It's how he really feels about business, entrepreneurs and the free enterprise system.

Four Little Words

 

Why the Obama campaign is suddenly so worried.

 

The Wall Street Journalist

 

What's the difference between a calm and cool Barack Obama, and a rattled and worried Barack Obama? Four words, it turns out.

"You didn't build that" is swelling to such heights that it has the president somewhere unprecedented: on defense. Mr. Obama has felt compelled—for the first time in this campaign—to cut an ad in which he directly responds to the criticisms of his now-infamous speech, complaining his opponents took his words "out of context."

 

That ad follows two separate ones from his campaign attempting damage control. His campaign appearances are now about backpedaling and proclaiming his love for small business. And the Democratic National Committee produced its own panicked memo, which vowed to "turn the page" on Mr. Romney's "out of context . . . BS"—thereby acknowledging that Chicago has lost control of the message.

 

The Obama campaign has elevated poll-testing and focus-grouping to near-clinical heights, and the results drive the president's every action: his policies, his campaign venues, his targeted demographics, his messaging. That Mr. Obama felt required—teeth-gritted—to address the "you didn't build that" meme means his vaunted focus groups are sounding alarms.

 

The obsession with tested messages is precisely why the president's rare moments of candor—on free enterprise, on those who "cling to their guns and religion," on the need to "spread the wealth around"—are so revealing. They are a look at the real man. It turns out Mr. Obama's dismissive words toward free enterprise closely mirror a speech that liberal Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren gave last August.

 

Ms. Warren's argument—that government is the real source of all business success—went viral and made a profound impression among the liberal elite, who have been pushing for its wider adoption. Mr. Obama chose to road-test it on the national stage, presumably thinking it would underline his argument for why the wealthy should pay more. It was a big political misstep, and now has the Obama team seriously worried.

 

And no wonder. The immediate effect was to suck away the president's momentum. Mr. Obama has little positive to brag about, and his campaign hinges on keeping negative attention on his opponent. For months, the president's team hammered on Mr. Romney's time at Bain, his Massachusetts tenure, his tax returns. "You didn't build that" shifted the focus to the president, and his decision to respond to the criticisms has only legitimized them and guaranteed they continue.

 

The Obama campaign's bigger problem, both sides are now realizing, is that his words go beyond politics and are more devastating than the Romney complaints that Mr. Obama is too big-government oriented or has mishandled the economy. They raise the far more potent issue of national identity and feed the suspicion that Mr. Obama is actively hostile to American ideals and aspirations. Republicans are doing their own voter surveys, and they note that Mr. Obama's problem is that his words cause an emotional response, and that they disturb voters in nearly every demographic.

 

It's why Mr. Obama's "out of context" complaints aren't getting traction. The Republican National Committee's response to that gripe was to run an ad that shows a full minute of Mr. Obama's rant at the Roanoke, Va., campaign event on July 13. In addition to "you didn't build that," the president also put down those who think they are "smarter" or "work harder" than others. Witness the first president to demean the bedrock American beliefs in industriousness and exceptionalism. The "context" only makes it worse.

 

This gets to the other reason the Obama campaign is rattled: "You didn't build that" threatens to undermine its own argument against Mr. Romney. Mr. Obama has been running on class warfare and the notion that Mr. Romney is a wealthy one-percenter out of touch with average Americans. Yet few things better symbolize the average American than a small-business owner. To the extent that Mr. Romney is positioning himself as champion of that little business guy and portraying Mr. Obama as something alien, he could flip the Obama narrative on its head.

 

It would be all the more potent were Mr. Romney to use "you didn't build that" to launch his own economic narrative. One unexpected side effect of "you didn't build that" is that it has emboldened the GOP to re-embrace and glory in free enterprise (so abused since the financial crash). And the president's disparaging attack on business has also made voters more open to a defense of it.

 

Meaning, it's a perfect time to marry emotion with some policy. Mr. Romney has explained why the president doesn't get it. The next step is to explain why his own tax policies, regulatory proposals, and entitlement plans are the answer for those who actually do the building. The president is on defense. We'll see if Mr. Romney can keep him there.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/...

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

 Not out of context. It's how he really feels about business, entrepreneurs and the free enterprise system

-

Either a liar, or stupid. Here's the full quote.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some

help.

There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to

create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you

to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.

Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its

own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies

could make money off the Internet.

-

The last time I checked, businesses didn't build roads and bridges. Then again, I'm capable of comprehending the english language, so maybe that's why I'm not confused.

3xfire3
3xfire3

Ohiolib,

Yes you are a liar.

Here's the complete context of our anti-entrepreneur, anti-small business and anti-free enterprise president.

You can try to spin it but without his teleprompter he said what is in his heart and that is he dislikes the free enterprise system unless he can totally control it like a dictator.

Oh by the way. Since 50% of our citizens pay 100% of all Federal Income Tax, these business people did in fact pay for the roads and bridges and most everything else they use. They paid more than their share.

Youn Libtards just don't understand business.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

 Funny. I watched it, and it doesn't look much different. On the other hand, we've confirmed that you don't understand english.

StanleyCupp
StanleyCupp

50% of our citizens pay 100% of all Federal Income Tax,

Except Mitty who hasn't paid SFA.

DeeinColumbiaMD
DeeinColumbiaMD

My my you take such pride in cons ability to sell lies. Unfortunately lies don't help you long term. Can't fool all of the people all if the time and truth will out. And you don't have nothing to fall back on.

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

 What are the lies?

apr2563
apr2563

Whenever Rove and Romney speak it is a lie in order to please their overlords.

DeeinColumbiaMD
DeeinColumbiaMD

Every ad Rove produces is filled with lies, for that matter sinus Romney's. If you twist words and doctor video you don't really qualify for character awards. The you didn't build that meme is a total fabrication cause the president said you didn't build the roads or public projects that businesses depend on. But I get it Romney is such a weak candidate lies is all he has and Rove has never had any scruples so I expect nothing more from him.

sacredh
sacredh

"The Return of Karl Rove"

.

Spits on the ground and crosses self.

cin
cin

I was going to fuss you about aiming that saliva toward Turd Blossom instead, but considering the drought, maybe it'll do better on the ground.

sacredh
sacredh

No drought here. I'm having to mow my lawn twice a week again.

3xfire3
3xfire3

Karl Rove is the most brilliant political strategist in the country.

That’s why Liberals hate him so much. They have no one as good as him so they demonize him for being the best. It's jealousy at its highest level.

 

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

3xfire3,

"The most brilliant politcal strategist in the country."  Really?  The guy whose candidate didn't even win the popular vote the first time around, and the only reason Bush beat Gore is because of a set of badly made ballots in one Florida county.

Yes, he is brilliant if you consider spreading lies for political gain a virtue.  He learned at the foot of Lee Atwater who turned racial fear into a powerful politcal tool when the older Bush ran against Dukakas.  He is/was good buddies with Jack Abrahamoff who bilked millions out of Native American nations and used the money to give to the opponents of casinos.  Given his very close association with Jack Abrahamoff (they were buddies going back to the days they were a part of the College Republicans), I have to wonder how Rove escaped serving jail time.  I guess considering how he escaped getting caught with Jack does make him "brilliant".

3xfire3
3xfire3

fhmadvocat,

Your drowning in the Libtard Kool-Aid.

Their are more liars in the Obama Campaign organization than exist anyplace else on earth.

Only a brainwashed liberal would believe conservatives lie more than liberals. Get out of your bubble and look at reality.

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

3xfire3,

Only a brainwashed conservative would believe the Obama Campaign has more liars than exist anyplace else on earth.

BTW, politifact did a fact check on the political ads of both campaigns.  In the case of the Obama campaign, the worse grade it got was "half truth" while the Romney campaign got a couple of "false" grades.  Just for your information, I know you think politifact is just a liberal mouthpiece, but in our paper, the must truthful statements come from Tea Party candidates, then Democrats, and the biggest liars are the establishment Republicans.

Do Liberals lie?  Of course, however none are even in the same class as Karl Rove or the late Lee Atwater.  There is no liberal equivalent to Jack Abrahamoff and no liberal ever abused as much power at Tom Delay.  You would have to go back to Johnson's ad against Barry Goldwater to find such an audacious political ad from a Liberal and that was almost 50 years ago.

outsider2011
outsider2011

Link to back up your assertion about Obama's campaign please.

Also, libtard is so last month - even Rusty isn't using it too much lately - it's libloon now.

Keep current, ok?

Actually, to your last point, only someone who reads the news knows a conservative lies more than a liberal.

Because liberals dont' have to. They care about other people.

jmac
jmac

Rove is brilliant?  He put his pal Bush in the bottom of History where no amount of spinning is going to pull the guy out.   Democrats can certainly claim he was brilliant for them - he gave America it's first African American president.  Good job, Brownie! 

DeeinColumbiaMD
DeeinColumbiaMD

Ridiculous. Liberal have no respect gir Rove because he's a liar and a crook who barely escaped indictment. He may have resurrected himself in the sticks with rich guys money but hell be ER hold another job in dc where he wants to be. He couldn't get confirmed for anything and super pacs won't be around forever.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 Do you ever read your posts out loud before you post them?

Or at least proof read them first?

filmnoia
filmnoia

No jealousy by any stretch of the imagination. Just abhorrence towards someone who is  a traitor to democratic pronciples, and who belongs in the dock in The Hague with his old boss.

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

 It was a Democrat-controlled Senate that authorized the use of force in Iraq. Do you believe those Democrat senators also colluded in war crimes?

filmnoia
filmnoia

KG-

Collusion in war crimes, Mr. Semper Fi, nuff said.

cin
cin

 Following that logic, Obama is the most brilliant politician in this country, and that's why conservatives hate him so much.

Right? Or does that logic (success breeds hate) only apply on one side of the spectrum?