The Meltdown: Reasons For Karl Rove's “Wabbit Season" Friendly Fire Comments About Mrs. Clinton
Meltdown? Karl Rove burnt $100 million in last election cycle then wanted to stop FOX News from declaring Obama the winner
Karl Rove how you make me smile.
For Democrats, Karl Rove is the gift that keeps on giving. One would be hard-pressed to find a self-avowed enemy of a political party do more to inadvertently help that very same party through his own comments, false narratives, and miscalculations.
This man – famously described as President George W. Bush’s “brain” – is so wrong so often on America’s political issues, it’s amazing that he’s still given such a national platform. Mr. Rove is the GOP’s real-life version of Elmer Fudd from the old “Looney Tunes” cartoons. He tends to shoot himself in the foot -- with his mouth.
Here’s the latest example. At a May 8 conference in Los Angeles reported on by the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, Mr. Rove commented: “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”
Once again, Mr. Rove’s allegations were not based on fact. Mrs. Clinton only spent three days in the hospital being treated for a concussion as a result of a fall; not 30 days. As for the glasses Mr. Rove mentioned, Mrs. Clinton wore them at the recommendation of her doctors to help deal with double vision; not traumatic brain damage.
There is another layer of revisionist history Mr. Rove just may have forgotten. Back in 2012 – in the immediate aftermath of the events of Benghazi – Mr. Rove repeatedly insinuated that Mrs. Clinton faked her fall and hospital stay in order to avoid answering questions at a Senate subcommittee hearing convened to investigate what happened. He said at the time he found the timing and circumstances surrounding her injury suspicious and convenient.
Mr. Rove was summarily chastised by both Republicans and Democrats alike about his comments. On the Fox News Channel – the closest political equivalent to a home-field advantage – Mr. Rove was in full walk-back mode during an interview with Bill Hemmer.
Mr. Rove disputed media reports describing him as implying Clinton has brain damage from the incident by saying: “I never used that phrase.” In his attempt to stand on principle while simultaneously denying his own statements, Mr. Rove made about as much sense as ketchup on a honey bun. Even Newt Gingrich – no friend of the Clintons – was moved to respond: “I am totally opposed and deeply offended by Karl Rove's comments about Secretary Clinton. I have many policy disagreements with Hillary, but this kind of personal charge is exactly what’s wrong with American politics. He should apologize and stop discussing her health. I was angry when people did this to Reagan in 1980 – and I am angry when they do it to her today.”
For many years, the Grand Old Party was on one accord as it related to Bill and Hillary Clinton. The mission was to attack them early and often. For Republicans, that was the case before, during, and after Mr. Clinton’s presidency.
That was the objective before, during, and after Mrs. Clinton’s stint as U.S. Senator from New York. That was the prime directive during Mrs. Clinton’s campaign for President in 2007 and 2008.
But when then-Senator Barack Obama surged ahead to become the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee in 2008, suddenly the GOP reversed field. Mr. Obama was its new target. It suddenly began to wax poetic about both Hillary and Bill Clinton.
Mr. Clinton’s presidency was trumpeted by the right as a time of peace, prosperity, and bipartisanship. In a 2011 interview with host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” while promoting his book “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,” former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that President Obama’s decision to place her at the head of the State Department was one of his better personnel moves: “I have a sense that she is one of the more competent members of the current administration and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president.”
During a January 2013 appearance on “Meet the Press,” Paul Ryan offered: “Look, if we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles as Chief of Staff… I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now.”
The last six years of public praise from the Republican Party have surely helped Mrs. Clinton’s sky-high favorability numbers. The short-term benefits of praising Hillary Clinton in order to denigrate Barack Obama have resulted in a stark, long-term reality.
It’s finally dawning on GOP strategists that they may have helped create an unbeatable foe in 2016. Barring something completely unforeseen, Hillary Clinton will win if she runs.
Political operatives like Karl Rove know that. So take cover as Benghazi; and other bursts of friendly and unfriendly fire come. It’s pretty much all they have left.