CARVILLE ON ROVE
I generally eschew writing about pure partisan politics. Mainly this is because that subject was something that interested me deeply in my teens and early twenties, a time before the last drop of spontaneity and authenticity had been wrung out out of American politics. Today, any well informed person can script the talking points that will come over the TV on the Sunday morning talking head shows, so sterile and homogenized, yet polarized, has public discourse become.
Nevertheless, I found James Carville's FT.com piece on Karl Rove interesting
. The number of living folks who have run a presidential campaign would not fill even a small room but it is a room that would contain both Karl Rove and James Carville. Carville is spinning hard but prior to driving home his selected memes, he does offer up a tribute of sorts to one of the few men who counts as a peer of James Carville:"Nationally he has pulled off some of the most unexpected and impressive victories of modern political history. (I will not be debating the 2000 election for the purposes of this article, but I also will not be crediting him with it, so let us just move on to the next cycle.)
Mr Rove picked up seats in what was an almost historically impossible context in 2002. Then in 2004, he engineered one of the most remarkable feats in American politics. He got Americans to re-elect a president who they really did not want to re-elect. Even the Republican defeat in 2006 was predictable and well within the range of historical norms so, by this sport’s standard of winning and losing, there is still no black mark on Rove’s record.
If we concluded our analysis in 2007 and confined our judgment merely to Mr Rove’s immediate electoral record, we would have no choice but to judge him a spectacular success. There is no doubt that Mr Rove won elections. He has perhaps one of the most remarkable win-percentages in modern American politics."
I've never been in awe of Karl Rove who took on a mythic (if demonic) and quasi -lightning rod quality in the Left blogosphere and was an understated presence on the Right ( perhaps because he had occasional meetings with top ranking conservative bloggers who were therefore loathe to annoy him). His sense of history always struck me as badly strained and Rove's ability as a political image-maker and message strategist paled next to that of Reagan consultants like Roger Ailes, Lyn Nofziger, Michael Deaver, Ed Rollins and David Gergen.
But the man knows how to win elections.
Labels: FT.com, james carville, politics, republican party