Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rove: Not As Confident As Advertised?

Over at Crooks and Liars, we see this piece (drawn from Raw Story) on Karl Rove's confidence about the upcoming election:

During a National Public Radio interview, White House Deputy Chief of Staff "duked it out" with the host over polling data[..].

After midterm election interviewer Robert Siegel stated that "many might consider you on the optimistic end of realism" regarding Republican hopes to retain both Houses in November, Rove suggested that the NPR host was biased.

"Not that you would be exhibiting a bias or anything like that," Rove said. "You're just making a comment."

"I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day," Seigel responded

"No you're not!" Rove exclaimed.'

How many times do we got to tell you, Karl? Reality has a liberal bias.
Good points, but there's a deeper story here. Check out this later exchange from the Raw Story piece:

MR. SIEGEL: How then do you read -- or how then do you look ahead to the election in terms of Iraq policy? If the Republicans maintain majorities on the Hill it's a ratification of the Iraq policy?

MR. ROVE: Well, I think Iraq and the economy play a role in virtually every race, but there are also local considerations in the local contests between two individuals that at the end of the day matters for a great deal of the contest.

It's not a -- and there's a natural human desire to simplify everything to one big thing. You know, Curley's (sp) line from the movie, "One thing." But that's not the way politics really is. Politics is a complex equation which voters are going to be examining a variety of issues and a variety of characteristics as they arrive at their decision.
Bolding mine. Notice it? Rove is subtly yet clearly acknowledging that, nationally, Republicans are weak. This focus on "local contests" and "local considerations" only makes sense if he knows that the broader issues don't favor his party. Otherwise, he'd simply say that the Dems are wrong on the issues and wrong on character and leave it at that. On a facile level he's right of course- American elections are very localized affairs. As the chief political strategist for the president, however, Rove shouldn't be focusing on that, as it says that his man is weak and his party is weak.

Even IF he is right and there are different local situations that favor the Republicans, a broad trend is a broad trend, and everybody's going to know the direction of that trend. That trend doesn't favor the Republicans at all, and for Rove to even hint at acknowledging that is more "reality based" than I would have suspected.

Rove's dream of a persistent Republican majority is coming down around his ears, and he knows it. Now he's just trying to survive this election, so that he can maybe snatch that long-term victory from the jaws of defeat. His bluster aside, his failure is pretty good news for the Dems and, to be honest, good news for America.

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