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Rove Throwing John McCain Under the Bus, Looking to 2012?

By September 15, 2008

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How scummy must Republican campaign advertising be for Republican scum-meister and legendary dirty-trickster Karl Rove to admit that a conservative went "too far," as he did yesterday about John McCain?

In fact, I can't recall Karl "Bush's Brain" Rove ever before publicly criticizing any Republican campaign or candidate, past or present. (Please let me know if you can... )

We all know that super-strategist Karl Rove never utters an idle, strategy-free thought in writing or on air... and yet over this past weekend, Rove threw Republican presidential nominee McCain under the bus for a couple ads.

I don't believe for one moment that Karl Rove's moral sensibilities were suddenly offended by a couple ludicrous TV and internet ads which were overseen by McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, a Rove protege and a veteran of the Bush 2004 campaign.

Here's what I do believe: Rove has seen the writing on the wall that John McCain of 2008 is a weak presidential candidate, and will likely lose the presidential election. Also, it's a tough, tough year for Republican electoral chances, and with today's financial markets meltdown, Republican odds just got even longer.

For proof of McCain's remarkable weakness as a candidate, look no further than headlines TODAY:

Then there was John McCain's disastrous appearance on "The View" last Friday, when he falsely claimed to Barbara Walter that running mate Sarah Palin never took earmarks as Alaska governor. ("No, not as governor, she didn't!" )

In fact, none other than the conservative, Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal reports today, "... state records show Gov. Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund $453 million in specific Alaska projects over the past two years." The Los Angeles Times reports that "the McCain campaign backed down from the claim."

National Polls Mean Little in Predicting Electoral College Voting
John McCain of 2008 is proving to be a weak presidential candidate, and Karl Rove knows it.

Reality is that national polls mean little in accurately predicting the outcome of Electoral College results. And Obama has always led, and continues to lead, in prognostications for the 2008 Electoral College voting.

I'm not saying that the 2008 presidential election is a done deal, or that Obama and Biden can starting measuring for their White House office drapes. Far from it. Things happen, and 49 days (left until November 4th) can be an eternity in political time.

But with U.S. financial markets melting down dramatically, and with middle-Americans experiencing deep economic doldrums, and with the Republican party offering absolutely no new policies to deal with the downward-spiraling economy... 2008 is probably a Democratic year, by default.

And Obama's mantra of "change" may be just the right message at the right time.

So was Karl Rove's negative comment about McCain just a careless moment... or was it the unofficial start of throwing John McCain (but pointedly not superstar Sarah Palin) under the bus?

Was it the subtle start of Republicans looking toward 2012 and future presidential nominee Sarah Palin?

I say YES. Obviously.

(Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)


September 15, 2008 at 7:12 pm
(1) Robert Hamer says:

Preparing for a Palin ’12 presidential campaign…I remember us discussing this a few weeks ago. It’s not implausible, especially considering that McCain would be unlikely to seek a second term should he be elected. What’s sad about this is that a true conservative idealogue is exactly who we need right now as president – especially considering the failure of “compassionate conservatism” under George W. Bush – and John McCain just isn’t one.

By the way, you only scratched the surface of “The View”. After watching it, I’m convinced that I would be a better Republican nominee for president, and that’s not saying much. I would have destroyed all of the hosts in that debate (except maybe for the point about attack ads). I nearly tore my hair out when Whoppi Goldberg suggested that strictly interpreting the Constitution could mean a return to slavery, and his reponse was, “Yes, that’s true”. EXCUSE ME?!? He could have easily cited the fourteenth and fifteenth amdendments and made Whoppi look like an idiot, but he instead concedes! Un-freaking-believable.

As for Rove, I’m sorry, but the man who orchestrated the rumors that McCain fathered an illegitimate black child during the 2000 South Carolina primary has no credibility in judging the ethics of attack ads.

P.S. What did you think of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on SNL last weekend?

September 15, 2008 at 7:48 pm
(2) usliberals says:


I didn’t watch McCain’s dismal appearance on “The View,” but have seen a few clips. Whoopi Goldberg’s comment was stunningly dumb and off-the-wall. I suppose her point may have been that a literal interpretation of the Constitution doesn’t make sense today. If so, she made it quite badly.

I thought the inevitable SNL skit with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin was really funny, especially in Fey’s physical comedy, but a bit demeaning. But then again, SNL has been repeatedly demeaning to Obama, as well. (I actually don’t know how they’ve gotten away with some of their heaviest slams on Obama!)

Hillary is clearly their candidate of choice.

September 16, 2008 at 4:01 pm
(3) zahirah says:

John McCain was talking about looking at Roe v. Wade through the lens of the constitution. He proposed to hire a team of people to take on this task to figure how the “Framers” would have envisioned “pro life”. Whoopie may not have made herself clear. In many ways in the past, the constitution was used to oppress various racial groups(esp blacks)and women. Even misconstrued interpretations of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth ammendments did its part in ushering in Jim Crow. What Whoopie is saying is correct. Looking through the lens of the Constitution is dangerous. Sticking to the tenants of social, economic and political equality is the best thing to do. Something that the Constitution undeniably promotes.


Obama 2008

September 16, 2008 at 4:56 pm
(4) Sean says:

Absolutely, there is a bitterness to any claim by a pro-lifer saying they’d like to research how the original “framers” of the constitution would look at the question. The only real world way you can see it is as a woman’s decision. He’s very out of touch with these times and, no matter how popular, so is Sarah Palin.

September 16, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(5) Joe Reeser says:

I see, like the rest of the Libs, you have rather overlooked the fact that Rove was talking about both campaigns.

September 17, 2008 at 5:46 am
(6) Lucy says:

Ever since McCain (the most dispensable GOP candidate) was dredged from the bottom of the contenders and placed on top, I have wondered whether Rove’s plan was to deliberately throw the 2008 election, blame every terrible result of the last eight years on the hapless new Democratic incumbent, and then try to grab the Presidency back in 2012 (after some of the biggest problems would have conveniently been dealt with). I think James Dobson, not Rove, chose Palin, and Rove didn’t care … until her unexpected stardom. Now he may be nervous that things are not going as planned, thus he needs to undermine McCain just to be sure. If this is his game, I don’t think he needs to worry, but I hope he keeps it up just in case.

On the other hand, I can also see how appealing Palin would be to Rove in that, exactly like Bush, she is ignorant, incurious, and decisive, a self-assured empty vessel who can be programmed as desired. If he’s counting on women voters, sorry.

September 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm
(7) Robert Hamer says:


I think you are seriously misrepresenting what strict constructionism is. You are correct in saying that the Constitution has been used to strip people of their rights, but those instances were orchestrated by people who share your view of the Constitution, not mine. Despite popular opinion, liberals tend to deny citizens of their rights from the court, not conservatives. A perfect contemporary example lies in the dissent for DC v. Heller by John Paul Stevens. By the way, looking “through the lens of the Constitution” isn’t dangerous at all, so long as it is interpreted correctly. If this actually represents Obama’s view of the Bill of Rights, I know I’ll never vote for him.

September 18, 2008 at 10:19 am
(8) zahirah says:

I donít think I misrepresented what strict constructionism is-I wasnít even talking about it. Iím talking about how the constitution was historically used as an instrument to promote inequality and oppression. Whether liberal or conservative, I donít really care who misconstrued the Constitution. The point is it was misconstrued. I am leery of anyone who proclaims to be a staunch advocate of a controversial issue dealing with the rights of a certain group of individuals and looks to the Constitution for answers. That just doesnít sit right with me, regardless of what constitutional philosophy they choose to use in their pursuit of answers. It is dangerous.

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