Rove: I’m not the establishment!

posted at 1:36 pm on September 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Karl Rove answered his critics today on Fox News, where — as Rove notes — he works as a political analyst. His outside job, Rove explains, focuses on political campaigning, organizing, and fundraising. In order to maintain credibility, Rove says he has to speak plainly in his role as an analyst, which is why he offered criticism of Christine O’Donnell and Delaware Republicans the past two days. However, Rove insists that he supports the Tea Party and is not a member of the GOP establishment at all, and he makes some good points in this exchange:

I sympathize with Rove, certainly. Bloggers on both sides of the partisan divide have the same conundrum; when does analysis end and advocacy begin? That’s a tough question, and it does go to credibility in each role.

On the other hand, Rove had plenty of time before the primary to make his case about O’Donnell, and did, as an analyst. After it became clear that O’Donnell won the contest, he could have balanced his observations with more insight into Chris Coons, for instance, and perhaps used a more objective tone than he did that evening at the prospect of an O’Donnell candidacy. Rove does take the opportunity to retract the story that Fox reported that night about the supposed NRSC rejection of O’Donnell — although the NRSC’s denial certainly could be self-serving after the avalanche of criticism they got from that leak.

In the end, I think O’Donnell takes the right approach. Karl Rove has worked tirelessly for at least two decades to elect Republicans in good times and in bad, as part of the establishment while at the White House and with the grassroots later. Part of unity after the primaries is burying the hatchet on petty squabbles. It makes no sense to demonize Rove forever after one bad night, just as it makes no sense to keep picking at the Castle v O’Donnell argument after the primary election concluded. Let’s just focus on winning seats on November 2nd with the candidates selected by voters in their own primaries.


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I’ll never look at this porky-pig-look-alike the same.

Purposely and destructively attacking O’Donnell AFTER the primary win is unforgivable.

And we’re to believe this arrogant, smarmy, self-involved little skunk isn’t establishment?

Not me.

Got my eye on you porky.

Tim_CA on September 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM

It’s not “defeatist” to suggest that your team is going to lose when you’re behind 7-27 at the 2 minute warning and no timeouts left.

Hollowpoint on September 16, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Except that we’re not at the 2 minute warning, and we’re not down 7-27. The election’s 7 weeks off, O’Donnell just raised $1 million in less than 2 days, and she’s running against a sitting duck, self proclaiimed ‘Bearded Marxist.’

It’s more like 7-3 Coons, we have the ball at midfield, and his starting QB just broke his ankle.

So, since you’re focusing on all the negatives and not considering the positives, it’s totally fair and accurate to say that you’re being defeatist.

fossten on September 16, 2010 at 7:24 PM

LOL… Dick Armey is more GOP establishment than Karl Rove. If you don’t know the name … Google is your friend.

Dick Armey, politician, former Speaker of the House, lobbyist and political consultant…. Founder of Freedom Works and Tea Party Express who backed O’Donnell. So O’Donnell has her very own ‘establishment’ cronies.

Texas Gal on September 16, 2010 at 7:32 PM

If you look at the interview and his face and body lanquage, I think he was genuinely pissed because Castle must be a good friend. I’m getting this from something Dana Perrino said earlier on the same show
I think it was just personal in this case and it got the best of him. He wasn’t functioning as an analyst but as someone who saw his good friend attacked and beaten.
There must have been something that Castle did in the background to help the bushies(maybe some vote or maybe some liason role to somebody) something we don’t know about.

And after watching Palin on O’reily show maybe this is some spill over from the Mccain/Bush realtionship.
There is just something about this that strikes me odd. I mean if he is smart enough to know how this would go over.

kangjie on September 16, 2010 at 6:33 PM

‘Friend’, no. More like a lynchpin in Rove’s construct of a 51 seat Senate. The Party elites saw this as the opportunity for a man with 30yrs+ worth of election victories in DE to sidestep from 9 terms in the House into the vacant ‘Biden Seat’. The Donks bought into to such a degree that the groomed Biden Jr balked. His time ticket-punching in Iraq as a JAGoff all for nought.
Castle also essentially abandoned his House sinecure, leaving it to a trio of fresh princes.
Along comes O’Donnell, making another play for a seat in DE and with the anti-incumbent feervor and Castle’s own RINO boner fides [sic] and burgeoning Tea Party sentiment – in a closed primary – se voila! Castle’s out on his ass, right when they all thought they had it ‘wrapped up’. Major plans askew. Seethe.

rayra on September 16, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Two words, Karl: hostile takeover

VekTor on September 16, 2010 at 7:41 PM

You can’t get back your credibility by some “But I’m paid to be objective!” tapdancing, Karl.

Nobody believes that partisan commentators have any “objectivity”. People don’t expect any.

They want advocates who will fight for their ideals, to win, not backstab those who beat their favored candidate, when the point is to eject the Dem loons who are driving the country into generstional bankruptcy.

Rove is profoundly petty.

He should be relegated to the irrelevance he deserves.

profitsbeard on September 16, 2010 at 7:47 PM

rayra on September 16, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Makes more sense now – Christine spoiled little Karl’s plans! Boo hoo!

fossten on September 16, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Say what you will, but I repeat that I’ll never, ever trust Rove again. I don’t know what he’s up to, but one thing for sure is that he is no longer a firm Republican.

BillCarson on September 16, 2010 at 8:02 PM

Someone tell Bill O’Reilly that Obama never had a job in the private sector either, as he started his show saying that about O’Donnell as a nagative!

silvernana on September 16, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Oops! Make that negative instead of nagative.

silvernana on September 16, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Ron Paul not GWB and Rover.

Spathi on September 16, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Rove is backpeddling as fast as he can. He has a lot to lose as the supposed political guru, mostly dough and second credibility. He flat out stated that O’Donnell can not win the general election right after she beat Mike Castle who was supposed to be a shoo in. He is part of the problem and a card carrying elitist Washingtonian insider. Rove is history as far as I am concerned. O’Donnell will be victorious in November despite Karl ‘Tokyo’ Rove.

geo11 on September 16, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Someone tell Bill O’Reilly that Obama never had a job in the private sector either, as he started his show saying that about O’Donnell as a nagative!

silvernana on September 16, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Now you know that’s not entirely true, there was that summer scooping at a Baskin-Robbins in Hawaii.

slickwillie2001 on September 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM

I agree with Ed. Once someone wins the primary, you should stand firmly behind them. No matter how bat sh&t crazy they are! Here’s to turning in the Jews! Nazis, Nazis, I’ve found hidden Jews!

Glad to see conservatives have officially lost their friggin’ minds!

TheBlueSite on September 16, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Rove: I’m not the establishment!

Is this anything like the “I am not a Bimbo” bit from SNL??

landlines on September 16, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Rove: I’m not the establishment!

Thus Karl jumped the shark

vicarious on September 16, 2010 at 11:06 PM

Karl Rove, you Fat Bastard.

You just did a Humpty Dumpty.

Dhuka on September 16, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Rove and Krauthammer did not attack Alvin Greene like they have Christine O’Donnell!

Is there ANYONE that thinks Greene deserves a pass and O’Donnell deserves a whacking?

What the hell did O’Donnell do to them?

I think Rove and Krauthammer reacted terribly to their mistake of supporting Castle by attacking O’Donnell. Now they are reacting to the people that are calling them out for their personal attacks on her with even more personal attacks. NO usefull purpose was served by these personal attacks.

Elections come and go, but the Rove and Krauthammer attack will NOT be forgotten! Even if they are right about this elections outcome, and they CLEARLY want O’Donnell to lose, they will have lost the respect of many people.

Freddy on September 16, 2010 at 11:49 PM

How many times did he say “Be careful” what they refer to him as…

Ugly on September 16, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Here’s where I have some sympathy for Karl.

Rove’s success was based on taking Dem districts and turning them to the GOP. This resulted in a RINO GOP. This strategy was OK back in the day when the Dems were not the raging leftists we have today.

Rove doesn’t realize that his RINO strategy stopped working after 2004.

51 RINOs wont stop Socialism.

faraway on September 17, 2010 at 12:30 AM

Is Karl bitter because he’s a um, homo?

vicarious on September 17, 2010 at 12:36 AM

Sorry, Karl, but you did a Badthink, and then compounded the offense with a Badspeak on TV of all places. The Thought Police simply cannot overlook this public defiance – witness the universal denouncing you’ve received. Just be glad they haven’t formed death squads yet. Perhaps one day you may even be rehabilitated, but these “freedom lovers” have long memories and will tolerate no dissent from their party line.
`
`
Think good thoughts.

Adjoran on September 17, 2010 at 2:36 AM

“It makes no sense to demonize Rove forever after one bad night, just as it makes no sense to keep picking at the Castle v O’Donnell argument after the primary election concluded”

No need to demonize Rove. He can do a good job all by himself

Rove didn’t exactly have one tragic slip. He was making the circuit with his tale

It makes no sense for Rove to demonize O’Donnell after the primary is over, unless Rove would prefer the DEM candidate win the election. I assume that is his intention. Nothing new here

The currency of this election is trust. Once spent, not easily earned again. All Rove could gain with his play would be a DEM win. He forgot to tell everyone else whats in it for them

She may be a looney toon, but I suspects the little nutcase would vote a big NO against amnesty. That vote was big enough for Bush to give Specter the keys to the kingdom. When amnesty comes in those nasty independents get replaced with a new swing vote what speaks Spanish

entagor on September 17, 2010 at 2:43 AM

Nobody is as honest as someone who is drunk or angry. The other night on Hannity, Rove was angry. I believe every word he said, and now I want no part of him.

Sorry Karl, you s*it the bed.

Mr. Grump on September 17, 2010 at 5:19 AM

Rove: I’m not the establishment!

Bless his heart! Sarah said he was part of the machine.

Zing!

dtestard on September 17, 2010 at 6:31 AM

I’m very glad that Rove unmasked himself. For years it frustrated me that Rove was provided accolades for moving the Republican Party away from conservatism. “Genius”, “the Architect”, and other similar attributions used when referring to Rove made me ill. Deal after deal were cut with the lib/socialists in congress during Rove’s reign. All this spending has given O’Bama cover to destroy the private economy. Then this egocrat has the nerve to call himself a conservative in his recent book. He’s an elitist fraud.

Karl, your brand is forever tarnished and for that I’m eternally grateful.

ncjetsfan on September 17, 2010 at 6:47 AM

LOL… Dick Armey is more GOP establishment than Karl Rove. If you don’t know the name … Google is your friend.

Dick Armey, politician, former Speaker of the House, lobbyist and political consultant…. Founder of Freedom Works and Tea Party Express who backed O’Donnell. So O’Donnell has her very own ‘establishment’ cronies.

Try making friends with Google again. Dick Armey was never Speaker of the House. He was the House Majority Leader, which is not the same.

JenWestin on September 17, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Rove and his former boss were so completely obsessed with pandering and groveling for the elusive and overrated Hispanic / LaRaza / LULAC vote that they drove other voting blocks away in sheer disgust. Hence the results of 2006 and 2008.

Rove and his former did more harm to the Republican Party than Richard Nixon ever thought of doing. And it still hasn’t recovered and won’t until his ilk is no longer influencial within the party. DD

Darvin Dowdy on September 17, 2010 at 7:42 AM

I dislike O’D, but come one Rove… Let’s be real.

“I’m not a duck!” he quacked.

Lehosh on September 17, 2010 at 7:55 AM

You know what? I don’t care what label is tagged on Karl Rove at this point. What I care about is the restoration of Constitutional values in the Congress. If Rove can help bring Conservatives in positions in power, he is welcome to eat some humble pie, and then get back to work.

I want the spotlight back where it belongs: the DEFEAT of elected liberals in all branches of government, period.

itzWicks on September 17, 2010 at 8:37 AM

I really like Rove and Krauthammer, but I think they are being sore losers here.

IMHO, Dick Morris actually has a pretty good take on the situation:

Yesterday’s primary victories of O’Donnell in Delaware, and DioGuardi in New York illustrates how the Tea Party is cleansing the Republican Party and installing true believers over professional politicians. It is a healthy trend that will continue to recreate the Party of Reagan.

But the conventional media, instead of hailing this trend, warns that conservatives cannot be elected and bemoans the victory of true believers saying that it is equivalent to handing seats to the Democrats and the liberals. This reasoning, which made sense in other times, is badly flawed in today’s political climate.

bitsy on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Rove can tapdance away. The fact is that it wasn’t his commentary about her chances at being elected that were the problem. The problem was that he was pounding away at the same campaign smear points as Castle, and many of them were honestly quite exaggerated.

As I thought, Coons isn’t going to fall into that sandtrap. He was exceedingly polite at the debate they had last night, stuck to issues, and it’ll be a calm policy vote for the people in Delaware. The media can play in the character assassination sandbox all they want, but she handled herself very well in the debate. And Delaware voters know it. So did Coons. It was a nice exchange, much like most of us dream about.

Rove was smearing. That’s the problem. And I’ll stick to my final analysis. The reason is simple. He misadvised his buddy, Castle, to go this way. Castle was ahead, ran a negative campaign, and really blew his lead by following Rove’s plan.

THAT is the X factor. Rove feels very guilty.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

bitsy on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

I agree Bitsy. I love to loathe Morris, but I do think he is right this time.

Peggy Noonan has a good column, too, out today. She is finally getting it, I guess.

And Chris Matthews, of all people, gets it better than most of the GOP types right now.

People are offended by the GOP telling them who to nominate, clearly. The problem with being out of touch goes down into the belly of many of the GOP operations in states, and they are being ignored, resoundingly, by voters.

Moreover, we don’t really give a darn about labels or just seeing one party or another gain power as much as we care about making a real change. Who gives a darn, as DeMint said, who has the votes if the policies are just more of what’s gotten us into this mess?

Jim is right. That is the conservative “glue,” too that is fueling this wave.

The rest? Social issues, etc? Most of us don’t care and are a lot more prone to “Live and Let Live.” I don’t see how government should even have the resources or time to dictate morality.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 AM

The War on Christine O’Donnell

What has this woman done? Did she vote for Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court like Lindsey Graham? Did she support the Obama stimulus like Olympia Snow and Susan Collins? What did she do to deserve the trashing?

The answer is not distant.

To the Republican establishment, tea party people are field hands. Their labors are to be recognized and rewarded, but they are to stay off the porch and not presume to sit at the master’s table.

And what O’Donnell did, with her amazing victory, is to imperil that establishment’s return to power. That is why these Republicans went ballistic.

Rae on September 17, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

Someone has stolen AnninCA’s account, or has Texas began to rub off? It wasn’t long ago that you were perfectly happy to legislate morality in the form of health care reform. It was just the right thing to do.

DFCtomm on September 17, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Karl Rove answered his critics today on Fox News, where — as Rove notes — he works as a political analyst.

And as such, he is obligated to make clear his involvement in any analysis where he may have a personal bias. During his rant, did he ever mention that he had met personally with Castle with the purpose of winning the primary? Careful Rove, your lack of integrity is showing…

dominigan on September 17, 2010 at 10:36 AM

The rest? Social issues, etc? Most of us don’t care and are a lot more prone to “Live and Let Live.” I don’t see how government should even have the resources or time to dictate morality.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Someone has stolen AnninCA’s account, or has Texas began to rub off? It wasn’t long ago that you were perfectly happy to legislate morality in the form of health care reform. It was just the right thing to do.

Ok fixed it. The quote by the way if anybody likes it is by H.L. mencken

DFCtomm on September 17, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Ok fixed it. The quote by the way if anybody likes it is by H.L. mencken

DFCtomm on September 17, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Didn’t mean to paste that, but now that I think about it in this context it seems oddly appropriate. That is exactly what the nation has done.

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

-H.L. Mencken

DFCtomm on September 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM

However, Rove insists that he supports the Tea Party and is not a member of the GOP establishment at all…

Words are just that.

So tell me Rove, how much of the budget did you advise Bush to cut? A quarter? Half? What about pushing back on bribes earmarks? How many Federal departments did you suggest eliminating? Did you suggest paring back the EPA when it began floating the idea of regulating all breathing organisms? Did you suggest any paycuts, benefit cuts or pension cuts for Government workers to align them with private ones? Do you know why Civil Servants are called that?

Rove is a liar, parasite, and worm!

He is a liar for saying he supports the TEA Parties when they stand for the removal of what he helped build up. Like other establishment types, he wants to use the TEA Party members for returning to power the very ones the TEA Parties object to.

He is a parasite for feeding off the TEA Party energy and excitement. As with every parasite, he seeks to redirect the energy of the host into his own personal agenda and self preservation.

He is a worm for supporting the plans of the very infestations that are decaying the foundations of our country. Castle supported Cap and Tax, DISCLOSE and other Obamanations. And yet Rove supported him as “the better candidate”.

dominigan on September 17, 2010 at 10:54 AM

<blockquote

Someone has stolen AnninCA’s account, or has Texas began to rub off? It wasn’t long ago that you were perfectly happy to legislate morality in the form of health care reform. It was just the right thing to do.

I honestly am liberal. I think the teaparty represents my own liberalism better than Dems.

I also will stick to my guns on one issue. Had the Dems passed a public option, repugnant as that might have been to many conservatives, they wouldn’t be in this pickle.

Then the mantra of “People will love it once they get it” would have proven true. People LOVE medicare. The public option was the way to go.

They blew it. Simple as that.

So I’m like a real progressive who now abandons the establishment in both parties.

I like Palin a whole lot. I like all the teaparty candidates, frankly.

If I can’t have sensible Dem policies, like a really good public option, give me freedom!

I’ll try to figure out how to talk constitutional. LOL* I still don’t get that schtick.

And I’m bored to tears by Beck. Good gravy, man. Get over your diagnosis of blindness. The world isn’t interested in following you into la-la land because you’ve decided that we should all get religion.

There, do I sound more like the old Ann now?

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I’ll try to figure out how to talk constitutional. LOL* I still don’t get that schtick.AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

If I can’t have sensible Dem policies, like a really good public option, give me freedom!
AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Obviously from this statement you have not figured out how to talk constitutional. It’s a shame that freedom came in at second behind the welfare state.

DFCtomm on September 17, 2010 at 11:05 AM

bitsy on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Wow! Completely agree! Dick Morris hit that nail squarely on the head and sunk it in one massive hit!

dominigan on September 17, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Try making friends with Google again. Dick Armey was never Speaker of the House. He was the House Majority Leader, which is not the same.

JenWestin on September 17, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Oh that’s right.

Dick Armey was Majority Leader for the House when Newt was Speaker of the House and then Dennis Hastert replaced Newt and Tom Delay replaced Dick Armey. Wow.. those sure are some GOP inside the beltway heavy-weight establishment type of politicians, huh? No wonder Pelosi kept trying to paint the Tea Parties as astroturf, she must have been talking about Armey’s Tea Party Express.

Look I got nothing in this fight, like I said on another thread. I’m more of a States Rights, 10th Amendment, enumerated powers Texan. And that applies to all outsiders, but a spade is a spade.

Texas Gal on September 17, 2010 at 12:07 PM

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