Monday, September 20, 2010

the art of the backdown

former white house spinmeister karl rove sizing up delaware republican senate primary winner christine o'donnell (sep 14):

i've met her. i wasn't frankly impressed by her abilities as a candidate ... one thing that o'donnell is now going to have to answer in the general election that she didn't in the primary is her own checkered background.

... there were a lot of nutty things she has been saying that don't add up.

... why did she mislead voters about her college education? how come it took nearly two decades to pay her college bills so she could get her college degree? how did she make a living?

... we were looking at eight to nine seats in the senate. we are now looking at seven to eight in my opinion.

it does conservatives little good to support candidates who at the end of the day while they may be conservative in their public statements do not event the characteristics of rectitude, truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for.

... but we also can't make progress if we have candidates who got serious character problems, who cause ordinary voters who are not philosophically aligned with us to not vote for our candidates out of concern of what they said and what they do. ... but look, she attacked him by saying he had a homosexual relationship with a young aide with not a bit of evidence to prove it.

... she had already previously spread the rumor. come on! look, she's got a chance now. let's you and i have a private side bet on this one. i think at the end of the day she has to answer these questions in a way that people of delaware find convincing or we are going to find ourselves with somebody who says conservative things, but doesn't have the character that the people of delaware want to have.

i believe the questions [about] why she had a problem for five years with paying her federal income taxes, why her house was foreclosed on and put up for sale, why it took sixteen years to settle her college debt and get her diploma while she went around for years claiming she was a college graduate," rove said. "i think a lot of voters in delaware are going to want more than she is offering to them right now, and we'll see.

conservative pundit michelle malkin:

might as well have been olbermann on MSNBC. the establishment beltway strategist couldn't even bother with an obligatory word of congratulations for o’donnell.

... rove came across as an effete sore loser instead of the supposedly brilliant and grounded GOP strategist that he’s supposed to be. expect more washington republicans to start sounding like tea party-bashing libs as their entrenched incumbent friends go down.

conservative blogger dan riehl:

... fox should suspend him and investigate. ... rove was working behind the scenes on behalf of the castle campaign to negotiate a deal that would have led to some delaware tea party groups not supporting christine o'donnell, while giving mike castle a pass.

especially given his comments on fox news tonight, until this is resolved, it seems impossible to trust rove as an objective analyst. in terms of the conservative movement, we should not simply ignore him, but proactively work to undermine rove in whatever ways we can, given his obvious willingness to undermine us.

conservative bitch-slapper rush limbaugh (sep 15):

this is about conservatives taking back the republican party. ... who the hell are they, anyway, to anoint or disanoint somebody as electable or not electable? i'm in charge of that! ... that's always been my purview and nothing's changed.

... look at the petulant attitude. 'screw you — christine o'donnell wins, she's on her own. you're on your own.'

... we're going to throw in the towel here? why not fight for it?

christine o'donnell (sep 15):

[rove] is the same so-called political guru that predicted i wasn't going to win. and we won and we won big. so i think, again, he is eating some humble pie and he is just trying to restore his reputation.

anti-establishment teahadist karl rove (sep 16):

i, i don't like being called the establishment. i've supported marco rubio and todd tiahrt and a lotta — sarah palin and i tuesday night backed kelly ayotte in new hampshire, so before you start calling me that establishment guy be, be careful.

... i'm helping raise fifty million dollars, three million of which we've already spent on behalf of sharron angle in nevada so be careful when you call me an establishment republican. i'm not certain what that is.

... no, no, look, i'm a huge tea party fan. i've enjoyed meeting with people as i go around the country, i've got a great many friends who i've made during the book tour and leaders in the tea party movement. in fact, i met christine o'donnell when i was in delaware last december to do the sussex county christmas day, GOP christmas day party and in one of the interesting parts, i got to meet with about twelve tea party leaders from southern delaware and had a wonderful conversation. this has given us energy, enthusiasm and in many instances it's given us highly qualified candidates who are going to be able to take the fight to the democrats this fall.

... look, i, i endorsed [o'donnell] the other night, i said i'm for the republicans in each and every case. i mean, i was one of the first to do it. look, i'm also helping her. i've gotten so many people have written me an e-mail saying i'm irritated with you, saying what you said the other night, i'm giving her a campaign contribution, i'm sending her a lotta internet contributions.

... fox had one thing wrong on election night. we mistakenly said that the republican senatorial committee said they weren't going to send her my money. i called rob jesmer, the executive director of the committee, the morning after and said "why the heck did you say that?", and he said we never said that, in fact we're cutting a check, the maximum we're allowed to give her, $42,000, and we're raising money from the PACs, and campaign funds and republican senators, including cornyn and mcconnell to send her additional cash immediately.

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