Rove’s Game

Sep 1 2012 @ 7:36am

Craig Unger finds it distasteful:

Undeniably, he’s back. He has re-invented himself. He is not merely Bush’s Brain; he’s the man who swallowed the Republican Party. As the maestro orchestrating the various super-pacs, he has inspired the wealthiest people on the right to pony up what could amount to $1 billion and has created an unelected position for himself of real enduring power with no term limits. Rival operatives in the party who loathe him nonetheless evince a grudging respect. “He’s playing a very long game,” says Roger Stone. “Even if Romney loses, that’s good for Karl, because he will still be in control. And there’s always Jeb Bush in 2016.”

Sheelah Kolhatkar snuck into one of Rove's billionaire fundraisers. Here's what she learned:

Rove, joined by former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, laid out his strategy for winning the White House. “The people we’ve got to win in this election, by and large, voted for Barack Obama,” Rove said, in a soothing, professorial tone, explaining why the campaign hadn’t launched more pointed attacks on the president’s character. …

What had emerged from that data is an “acute understanding of the nature of those undecided, persuadable” voters. “If you say he’s a socialist, they’ll go to defend him. If you call him a ‘far out left-winger,’ they’ll say, ‘no, no, he’s not.’” The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him—by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he’s actually done. “If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they’re gonna agree with you.”

Previous Dish on Rove's tactics here and here.