Thank You Karl Rove

As many political junkies dissect the legacy of Karl Rove, I simply want to convey one message. Mr Rove…Thank you sir. Thank you very much.

First of all, thank you for your service. I do not believe politicians are inherently corrupt, and I do not believe public service is criminality dressed nicely. You could have made millions more for many years in the private sector, and you chose to help the President. Your millions of dollars and speaking fees await you, and like brilliant strategists such as Newt Gingrich and Haley Barbour, you’ve earned every penny.

Some criticize you for losing the popular vote for the President in 2000. That would be a valid argument if you, and not Al Gore’s campaign, had broken the drunk driving scandal four days before the election. The President had a 5 point lead in the polls, and for all the criticism that you played dirty, it was the other side that crossed the line.

Thank you for standing by the President after 9/11. Sometimes good politics and good policy are exactly the same thing. The President did not politicize 9/11, but he was not cowered into being afraid to let the American people know which party wants to win the War on Terror, and which party wants to lose.

Your 2002 midterm election strategy was flawless.  Tom Daschle was fired, and the republicans  took back the Senate.  The thing I have always admired about you is that instead of being obsessed with districts, you focused on metrics. Even the smallest congressional district was too large. It seems like you knew what people’s voting habits were, block by block, house by house.

The biggest criticism of you came during the 2004 election. How dare you advise the President to cater to his supporters? Elections have to be won in the center, goes the conventional wisdom espoused by people who have never won an election. I am equally comfortable in a room of moderate republicans as I am with conservative republicans, and I can tell you that the trick in 2004 was to find new people anywhere. Given that the 2000 November Surprise depressed evangelical turnout, it made perfect sense to try and bring them back, along with their friends.

Thank you for staying optimistic. I remember calling my parents during the day of the 2004 election. They are republicans living in Florida, and they were heartsick over the exit polls. You figured out early on that whether it was liberal bias or awful estimates, the exit polls were simply flat out wrong. I told my parents to stay calm, and understand that the media would do everything they could to defeat the President. The other side was smug. You were optimistic. You were right.

You will take flack for 2006. This was not your fault. You can help get people elected, but you cannot be responsible for them not doing their jobs.  Even Ronald Reagan lost the Senate in 1986, and his legacy turned out just fine.

You were accused of trying to get Valerie Plame killed. We now know that her own husband Joe Wilson was responsible for that. You were accused of being too close to the President, refusing to contradict him. That is called loyalty. You were not accused of forcing Mark Foley to have sex with congressional pages, but that is only because the democrats were blaming you for everything else, and accidentally left that one out.

The bottom line is you helped President Bush get elected, and reelected. This has led to a thriving economy and a Supreme Court that will leave a conservative imprint on America for a generation.

Some will say that you are leaving on a down note. This is nonsense. You were paid to do a job, and you did it well. The fact that you send liberals into orbit by merely existing tells me that you are on the right track.

The democrats have not had a winning democratic strategist at the presidential level since 1992. That president got reelected in 1996 by hiring a republican strategist. Every night the talk shows are littered with democratic talking heads whose rage towards you is matched only by their failure to win the White House. True, they often have terrible clients, but then again that only makes them soulless for backing a horse even they did not believe in. You were able to help the President because you deeply believed in what he was doing. Your job was the means, but you cared about the ends.

At the risk of being selfish, one benefit for me when trusted White House aides leave is that they then get to go on the lecture circuit. I get to meet them and thank them for their service. Although campaigning is in your blood, if you take an interim break, I would look forward to meeting you, and consider it an honor to shake your hand.

Good luck in your future endeavors Mr. Rove. Although you publicly say that you want some peace and quiet, I suspect that the republican candidates will have you on speed dial, and your political enemies will leak your confidential cell phone number faster than Joe Wilson leaking his wife’s identity or the Jayson Blair Times leaking confidential U.S. troop movements. Isn’t it ironic that the democrats are more worried about one CIA agent posing for Vanity Fair than thousands of soldiers having their locations disclosed?

Anyway, these are not your worries anymore. I hope that when we face off against Lady Macbeth in 2008, that you are behind the scenes helping out.

However, if you choose to forsake the republican nominee and let him fend for himself, choosing to make millions in corporate America, I will be the first to understand. Make your money now while President Bush is still in power, because God knows how high your taxes will be raised if…well…I shudder to think about it. I shall remain optimistic.

Get some rest Mr. Rove. May God bless you and your family.

Thank you very much.


9 Responses to “Thank You Karl Rove”

  1. Wow says:

    Rest in peace.

  2. There’s a lot of fabricated controversy out of him leaving. People forget Clinton (to draw that banal reference) had 4 chiefs of staff.

    He’s a brilliant man, and good at his job. What more do you need?

  3. Gayle says:

    That was a nice tribute, Eric. I laughed out loud at the part about the Democrats not blaming him for forcing Mark Foley to have sex with congressional pages because they were too busy blaming him for everything else. LOL! I probably shouldn’t laugh because more than likely it’s the truth.

  4. viciemonkey says:

    Very nice writing Eric. A brilliant man and an example of how to not lose yourself in Washington. He will be missed.

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  6. snooper says:

    Great piece as usual.

    I did notice that he didn’t waste any time trouncing Troll Hillary.

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