Rove dissects Obama, finds the waffle

posted at 7:20 am on April 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Karl Rove analyzes the problems facing the Democratic Party with the virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in today’s Wall Street Journal. At first, he focuses on voting patterns and the potential game-ending scenarios in Indiana and North Carolina for Hillary, and points out the electoral weaknesses Obama shows and what that could mean in November with him as the candidate. Rove then uses that as a platform to analyze the candidates themselves — and diagnoses the core Obama failing:

Mr. Obama is befuddled and angry about the national reaction to what are clearly accepted, even commonplace truths in San Francisco and Hyde Park. How could anyone take offense at the observation that people in small-town and rural American are “bitter” and therefore “cling” to their guns and their faith, as well as their xenophobia? Why would anyone raise questions about a public figure who, for only 20 years, attended a church and developed a close personal relationship with its preacher who says AIDS was created by our government as a genocidal tool to be used against people of color, who declared America’s chickens came home to roost on 9/11, and wants God to damn America? Mr. Obama has a weakness among blue-collar working class voters for a reason.

His inspiring rhetoric is a potent tool for energizing college students and previously uninvolved African-American voters. But his appeals are based on two aspirational pledges he is increasingly less credible in making.

Mr. Obama’s call for postpartisanship looks unconvincing, when he is unable to point to a single important instance in his Senate career when he demonstrated bipartisanship. And his repeated calls to remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now” in tackling big issues falls flat as voters discover that he has not provided leadership on any major legislative battle.

Mr. Obama has not been a leader on big causes in Congress. He has been manifestly unwilling to expend his political capital on urgent issues. He has been only an observer, watching the action from a distance, thinking wry and sardonic and cynical thoughts to himself about his colleagues, mildly amused at their too-ing and fro-ing. He has held his energy and talent in reserve for the more important task of advancing his own political career, which means running for president.

But something happened along the way. Voters saw in the Philadelphia debate the responses of a vitamin-deficient Stevenson act-a-like. And in the closing days of the Pennsylvania primary, they saw him alternate between whining about his treatment by Mrs. Clinton and the press, and attacking Sen. John McCain by exaggerating and twisting his words. No one likes a whiner, and his old-style attacks undermine his appeals for postpartisanship.

In short, Obama has run as something he clearly is not, at least not so far. He wants people to believe that he can change the game, but in the three short years he has served in national office, he has done nothing to suggest that. John McCain actually has a track record of working across party divisions and trying to reach solutions on controversial issues; Barack Obama prefers to reserve his “political capital”. All Obama has done is talk about change, and that talk has begun to wear thin, especially as people take a closer look at him and his political associations.

In a way, Obama is the Jon Stewart candidate. He sits on the edge of politics, making “wry and sardonic” comments about what other people do without doing anything himself. No wonder younger voters love him; he gets to be ironic while taking no responsibility for anything. And when people press him for action, he’d prefer to eat his waffle in peace until he can find a way to act as a commentator rather than as a real agent for change.

And what excuse has he given for that? Obama doesn’t want to become part of the Beltway culture. That sounds good, but did he run for the Senate so he could not participate in the legislative process? He could have stayed in Illinois to do that.

Unfortunately for Obama and the Democrats who have carried him so close to the finish line, that “fierce urgency of now” is nothing more than a soundbite for a legislator who doesn’t legislate, an agent of change who hasn’t changed anything, and the beacon of hope who hasn’t felt an urgency to take any action in the “now” for the past three years. He’s been eating his waffle and hanging out with people who don’t like America or Americans much. That qualifies him to work the next Daily Show spin-off, not run the nation.


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Ed Morrissey, It is all about being labeled in History books:

“Barack Hussein Obama, the First African-American President of the United States of America”

THAT IS ALL.

Why people can’t get it????

Idiocy is rampant in America.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 7:30 AM

The Dems are faced with two fantastic options:
If he wins, they will run this boob against an experienced, established, generally liked Senate leader. And The Obama will lose.

If the Super Delegates back Hillary they will face riots and that will make me so happy I’ll have to dance around my front yard.

I’ll vote for Hill-rod on the 5th!

AbaddonsReign on April 24, 2008 at 7:34 AM

Karl Rove does it again! NO ONE knows the American electorate the way this man does….and I CAN’T WAIT to see/hear how the Dems attack his analysis

chief65 on April 24, 2008 at 7:39 AM

In other words…
Would you rather make history or be history?

CynicalOptimist on April 24, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Dang it Rove! You are telling them what is wrong. Best keep them in the dark lest they do something about it. Like nominate Gore or something at the convention.

percysunshine on April 24, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Karl Rove does it again! NO ONE knows the American electorate the way this man does….and I CAN’T WAIT to see/hear how the Dems attack his analysis

chief65 on April 24, 2008 at 7:39 AM

Karl Rove is an idiot.

Did he explain to you why people are voting for Hussein?

Did he explain to you why and how he screwed up in the Bush administration?

On Iraq, Harriet Miers, Immigration, Social Security reform, etc. etc.?

Did he apologize for giving the wrong advice?

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

Karl Rove is an idiot.
Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

That statement is about as ignorant a comment as I have read here at HA. Hate to day it Indy, but you have been whining here on these threads like a good ol’ fashioned bleeding heart Liberal, for weeks now. Snap out of it, you have a chance to have a really good day today!

Karl Rove is many things, an idiot is not one of them. One person can only do so much for a guy like GW Bush.

Keemo on April 24, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Karl Rove is many things, an idiot is not one of them. One person can only do so much for a guy like GW Bush.

Keemo on April 24, 2008 at 8:01 AM

What did I or the readers get from your reply?

Nothing.

Instead of calling me “Liberal” as an escape route many Republican losers use here when they are cornered, why don’t you answer my arguments and questions that I posted above?

You are using the same tactics Liberals are using.

But I’m not surprised of your attitude, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are two faces of the same coin.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:07 AM

If the Super Delegates back Hillary they will face riots and that will make me so happy I’ll have to dance around my front yard.

I know you’re kidding. The last thing anyone wants are Black riots….again. It’s the regular folks that get hurt, killed and have property destroyed while the perps get away with literal murder. Then Bill Cosby comes out and rambles on and the nation heals. Sharpton and Jackson are the winners in that scenario.

This Democratic race has opened up some really intense racial issues, and shedding some light on them has made it worthwhile. The Liberals use the Black vote, and the Liberal Blacks hate Whites no matter what they are given. If this could serve to take away the unfair racial incentives afforded to anyone who isn’t “White” as the application says, and even the playing field for financial aid, school placement and jobs, that would be reason to dance in the yard.

Hening on April 24, 2008 at 8:10 AM

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:07 AM

Make of it what you will; in the mean while, maybe you could slow down on the negativity and whining with every topic. Negativity and whining are a typical Liberal characteristic. If you don’t like the comparison, stop with the behavior.

Keemo on April 24, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Karl Rove is an idiot

Did he explain to you why and how he screwed up in the Bush administration?

Did he apologize for giving the wrong advice?

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

sarc on/
As an expert who has advised so many sitting presidents I suppose you will tell us exactly where Mr. Rove has made his mistakes.
sarc off/

Mr. Rove is many times more qualified than you, get over yourself.

nwsseeker on April 24, 2008 at 8:16 AM

the First African-American President of the United States of America

He is neither African-American nor African in any sense. If anything, he is half African and half British.

Actually, the closer the November rain the more African-Americans will come to realize that B.O. is whiter than O.J. ever was.

Niko on April 24, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Indy, based on the comments in this thread, and previous ones you’ve posted, I’m rapidly reaching the conclusion that the label incendiary crank may be wholly appropriate in your case. Another possibly applicable word, much more to the point, is Troll.

Evidence? Tossing out an ad hominem throwaway line, then reveling in the attention as you are provided return fodder to whine and protest about…

And in other news, Mrs. Garman’s annoying little dog got out again today, and chased the neighborhood cars, yapping all the way…

Wind Rider on April 24, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:07 AM

Make of it what you will; in the mean while, maybe you could slow down on the negativity and whining with every topic. Negativity and whining are a typical Liberal characteristic. If you don’t like the comparison, stop with the behavior.

Keemo on April 24, 2008 at 8:13 AM

I write what I wish to write. I don’t tell you what to do and I sure don’t want anyone telling me what to type.

Instead, if you have a reply to my arguments, I’ll be very glad to read it, but to call me names (Liberal), it’s a baseless distraction and a sign of weakness on your part.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:22 AM

nwsseeker on April 24, 2008 at 8:16 AM

I already answered this above. Where is yours?

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:24 AM

No wonder the Left hate Karl Rove; he destroys them with laser like precision.

I’d had not heard Barry talk about the “fierce urgency of now” but I’m glad Rove pointed this out and showed it to be just another plagiarized phrase that means nothing when Barry co-opts it. He also talks about “aggressive diplomacy” to deal with Iran. What is that exactly? Will he challenge Ahmadinijead to a duel?

Karl Rove is an idiot.
Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

Opening the door to comparisons between Karl Rove and your own intellectual abilities is, dare I say, idiotic.

Instead of calling me “Liberal” as an escape route many Republican losers use here when they are cornered, why don’t you answer my arguments and questions that I posted above? Blah Blah Blah…

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:07 AM

Listen whiny one, instead of complaining that no one responded to the gaseous substance of your bitter observations, why don’t you respond to what Karl Rove said in this column?

You can take a mulligan and start over. I’m all ears.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 8:29 AM

Wind Rider on April 24, 2008 at 8:17 AM

I think Hot air became the gathering spot of blindfolded worshipers.

I’m waiting for a reply to my post instead of “Hot Air.”

No reply?

Then let me go, my pregnant guinea pig is due today. I have to boil some water and fix the sty for the new-born.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:34 AM

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 8:29 AM

With all due respect sir or mam, I think you should stick to “Buy Danish” since you got nothing else to “sell.”

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:36 AM

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:34 AM
Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:34 AM

*sigh*

I’m still waiting for you to respond to Karl Rove’s column. All you have done is gone off on a rant about what you don’t like about some of his past policies (and shown yourself to be a shockingly clueless hypocrite by calling Karl Rove an idiot at the same time you mewl like an infant about being called a liberal).

I have all the time in the world…

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 8:40 AM

Indy Conservative I: Karl Rove is an idiot.

Indy Conservative II: How dare you call me names and be insubstantive!

Reaching troll status very quickly, IMO.

Ed Morrissey on April 24, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Did he explain to you why people are voting for Hussein?

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

I’m not sure if it’s a reading comprehension problem or lack of cognitive ability, but I believe if you make the effort you this may answer your question:

His inspiring rhetoric is a potent tool for energizing college students and previously uninvolved African-American voters.

You’re welcome Indy!

Alamo on April 24, 2008 at 8:42 AM

To get this thread back on track:

Unfortunately for Obama and the Democrats who have carried him so close to the finish line, that “fierce urgency of now” is nothing more than a soundbite for a legislator who doesn’t legislate, an agent of change who hasn’t changed anything, and the beacon of hope who hasn’t felt an urgency to take any action in the “now” for the past three years.

The same can be said for Herself! only she brings no ray of sunshine, no ray of hope.

Obama’s empty message resonates with younger voters who don’t have the experience or education to critically examine the message and messenger. As this Election Cycle is critical to the future path this country walks, all citizens have to do a serious ‘Gut Check’.

SeniorD on April 24, 2008 at 9:00 AM

Instead, if you have a reply to my arguments, I’ll be very glad to read it, but to call me names (Liberal), it’s a baseless distraction and a sign of weakness on your part.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:22 AM

How about we just throw you a peanut, and you and your organ grinder can move to the next corner…Here, catch!

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 9:00 AM

I want to make this clear — when people start hijacking threads and making themselves the focus of the blogpost, they’re being trolls. I’m going to take steps to keep this thread on topic.

Ed Morrissey on April 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Ed, while I was reading Rove’s comments I did not pause before continuing to yours. I was almost completely finished before I realized I was reading your comments at the end. Your comments and analogies are sometimes very Rove-esque.

Guest1.1 on April 24, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Said this before, at the end of the day, my vote will go to McCain–of the three, he’s the one who will do the least lasting damage to my country during his term.

irongrampa on April 24, 2008 at 9:12 AM

I leave sites like this for the day when I see this type of trollery- toss this clown.

jjshaka on April 24, 2008 at 9:19 AM

The irony is Rove can give all the advice he wants, the Dems won’t take notice. That is why they will lose, they are so bent on being someone they are not, that Obama (and to a lesser sense, Hillary) and his ilk get confused from day to day, place to place of who they really are.
In a much smaller sense (and not to directly compare) Mitt ran into the same problem.
In the end, because of so much scrutiny (especially from the internet), you can’t get by switching roles, or waiting on the sidelines and jumping in when they see someone falter.
Someone with such a savvy internet presence, doesn’t get that the internet is quickly becoming the “great equalizer” for truth.

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
William Shakespeare

Which is the biggest difference between candidates…

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Glen Beck said on his program yesterday “if 25% of the stuff coming across my desk on Obama turns out to be true, we have only seen the beginning of his undoing.” Karl Rove is accurate with his assessment; CE is also accurate with his assessment. Obama has accomplished nothing during his short career as a politician; the man has watched (looking through the window) as other politicians have actually engaged and represented their people. Obama looks like an observer rather than a doer. Obama looks like a media creation rather than those things the media would wish us to see him as.

Keemo on April 24, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Ed, while I was reading Rove’s comments I did not pause before continuing to yours. I was almost completely finished before I realized I was reading your comments at the end. Your comments and analogies are sometimes very Rove-esque.

Guest1.1 on April 24, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Your post will now be placed at the front of every thread…

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Dems are going to go apeshat over Rove. Again.

William Teach on April 24, 2008 at 9:26 AM

In the small town and rural “bitter” precincts, she clobbered him. Mr. Obama’s state chair was Sen. Bob Casey, who hails from Lackawanna County in northeast Pennsylvania. She carried that county 74%-25%.

This is an interesting factoid.

Indeed, all the superdelegate support in the world is not going to help Barry win these voters in the general election.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 9:48 AM

In reference to “Indy” I’ve see the plea many times on this site…..IGNORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can smell a troll a mile away.

Say what you want about Rove and the Bush Administration, his analysis about BHO is dead on!. That is exactly why the messiah is so scary and dangerous. He has NEVER been faced with anything difficult nor has he been willing to take a stand on a tough issue up to this point. He has been invisible in the Senate and liked to vote “present”. The President doesn’t have the luxury of kicking the can down the street and being in that position is no time to “learn’ to lead. Look at his judgement in who he has associated with and that’s all you need to know to understand he should never be allowed to get anywhere near the White House.

libhater on April 24, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Ed,

I totally agree with Guest 1 that your comment were very much in line with Rove’s. Well done. I sent excerpts from both sections to my wife with the word “BINGO” added.
Keep up the great work!

libhater on April 24, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Bob Casey has no support at all in Pennsylvania. He was lucky enough to be Not Rick Santorum in 2006. That’s it.

Clinton also handily carried Bristol, home of freshman Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy, who was Obama’s state chairman. Clinton carried Bucks County with almost 70% of the vote. The only place Obama carred in Bucks was Doylestown, home of a lot of aging hippies, loony leftists, and latte liberals. Murphy looks like a total idiot today. He’s a superdelegate and he is saying he is still going to vote for Obama. Hopefully this will help us get his sorry behind out of office in November.

rockmom on April 24, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Say what you want about Rove and the Bush Administration, his analysis about BHO is dead on!. That is exactly why the messiah is so scary and dangerous. He has NEVER been faced with anything difficult nor has he been willing to take a stand on a tough issue up to this point. He has been invisible in the Senate and liked to vote “present”. The President doesn’t have the luxury of kicking the can down the street and being in that position is no time to “learn’ to lead. Look at his judgement in who he has associated with and that’s all you need to know to understand he should never be allowed to get anywhere near the White House.

libhater on April 24, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Exactly. I’ve said all along that Obama’s campaign was brilliantly conceived but events got in the way of the plan. He was a campaign first and then a candidate. His people thought they could stun Hillary in Iowa and New Hampshire and then finish her on Super Tuesday before anyone had time to even ask who the hell is Barack Obama. Then they thought the GOP would nominate Mitt Romney and they would have an easy time beating him in November. They thought Jeremiah Wright would never become an issue because Romney could not talk about religion. They thought Obama’s inexperience would not be an issue because Romney didn’t have much more than he did.

Hillary and John McCain messed up their game plan.

The longer Hillary has remained standing, the more substance and grit and experience she has shown, and the more obvious Obama’s emptiness becomes. The more she appeals to the blue-collar Democrats, the more Obama is shown up as a candidate with limited appeal along racial and class lines, which is not a winning formula for a Democrat in November.

McCain wrapping up the GOP nomination also threw Obama’s plan badly. Jeremiah Wright became an issue, William Ayers became an issue, the success of the surge in Iraq helped McCain and hurt Obama, and McCain’s actual work on bipartisan legislation became an obvious contrast to Obama’s empty rhetoric. Obama is now reduced to making false and harsh “old-style politics” attacks on McCain, which shows how badly his plans have been screwed up by McCain. He has already had to throw the “new politics” thing out the window. But without the new politics, what does he have to recommend him as President of the United States? NOTHING.

rockmom on April 24, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Uhhh, didn’t I just read this down below?

rivlax on April 24, 2008 at 10:33 AM

They thought Obama’s inexperience would not be an issue because Romney didn’t have much more than he did.

What? Barry’s resume is not even close to Mitt’s. Do you think Hillary is more experienced than Mitt?

Hillary and John McCain messed up their game plan.

The longer Hillary has remained standing, the more substance and grit and experience she has shown, and the more obvious Obama’s emptiness becomes

.

John McCain has nothing to do with his “game plan”. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers were going to be problems for Barry even if his candidacy was assured at this point. It has little or nothing to do with Hillary’s brilliance as a candidate; she is an absolutely awful candidate and is benefiting from a backlash to Obama’s missteps (and Operation Chaos).

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I want to make this clear — when people start hijacking threads and making themselves the focus of the blogpost, they’re being trolls. I’m going to take steps to keep this thread on topic.

Ed Morrissey on April 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM

I hope you don’t ban Indy Conservative because in my view all he did was raise some questions that were/are important to him. Sure, he may say things that are outrageous, but isn’t this board what it is all about; people expressing their views and others responding? Just because someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and goes off on him doesn’t mean Indy Conservative hijacked the thread.

When it comes to banning people, I have other candidates that I deem would be more appropiate to ban. I’m talking about the Romney haters who are so vile that they take their hatred out on his family. Say what you want about Romney, but why the hatred directed at the kids?

I hope you have a more reasoned approach to this.

JMHO.

cjs1943 on April 24, 2008 at 10:58 AM

True. Obama is a “Placebo Candidate”. Like placebos used in testing, he makes the person who swallows his stuff feel good without having really done anything.

kurtzz3 on April 24, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Indy Conservative said to Buy Danish:

With all due respect sir or mam, I think you should stick to “Buy Danish” since you got nothing else to “sell.”

Well, actually the Danish have tremendous wisdom. Read this:

We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.

On one side, you have a woman who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, and as well a lawyer who is married to a woman who is a lawyer.

On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a woman with a huge chest who owns a beer distributorship.

Is there a contest here?

unclesmrgol on April 24, 2008 at 11:48 AM

unclesmrgol on April 24, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Thanks, that is great!

dmann on April 24, 2008 at 12:34 PM

best… quote… EVAR!

No wonder younger voters love him; he gets to be ironic while taking no responsibility for anything.

One Angry Christian on April 24, 2008 at 1:09 PM

I loved the Jon Stewart/Daily Show analogy. Although Stewart can occasionally be funny, his liberal self-righteousness imperfectly disguised by his pose of irony is the corrosive defining style for baby-boomer politics. You’re right; running for president means you actually have to take responsibility for something.

WasatchMan on April 24, 2008 at 3:01 PM

And he’s not even very ironic unless he’s scripted. Like most TV personalities, in fact.

Hope P. Muntz on April 24, 2008 at 4:25 PM

You have made my day. Buy Danish’s comments are hilarious. Whether Buy Danish is in fact Danish, Europeans generally look fondly upon us, sometimes as the Good Uncle and sometimes as the Bad Mommy. Mostly, they appear to think of us as a good people. Thanks again LOL

AReadyRepub on April 24, 2008 at 10:51 PM

I was hoping Obama would not start his inevitable downward spiral until after his nomination was official. He would make an excellent opponent for any Republican candidate, which would serve Republicans well this year.

ET USN 71-78 on April 25, 2008 at 1:59 AM