(cross posted at Daily Kos)
I used to dissect frogs in high school. It was a dirty job, but we all had to do it get a decent grade in Biology. The smell of the formaldehyde was something that brought tears to my eyes. Even today, I can recall the squishy putrefaction of the frog body as we cut into it.
I was reminded of that when I read Karl Rove’s op-ed today on “Why Hillary Won.”
In brief, Rove (whose candidate got smoked in the 2000 NH Primary) says “Clinton won the beer drinkers, Mr. Obama the white wine crowd. And there are more beer drinkers than wine swillers in the Democratic Party.”
Really. I seem to remember the exact opposite being true in 2004 — back then, Kerry’s crowd was swilling white wine on Martha’s Vineyard during breaks windsurfing.
He goes on to list four other reasons why Hillary triumphed. I put on my rubber gloves and goggles, steeled myself against the putrid smell and cut into this dead amphibian, so you wouldn’t have to:
1. She targeted female Democrats
“It didn’t work in Iowa, but it did in Iowa.” That’s…it? That’s what passes for brilliant insight from Svengali?
2. She had “two powerful personal moments”
One was the jokey “that hurts my feelings,” the other was the “powerful and warm” response to the woman in Portsmouth. He faults Obama for being “dismissive” (“you’re likable enough”) and engaging in juvenile “trash-talking.” Does that sound like the Obama you know? I didn’t think so.
3. The Clintons drew attention to Obama’s “failure of leadership”
And, yes, this is where he says “Obama is often lazy.” Joe Biden got nothin on Karl Rove!
4. Obama is “a vitamin starved Adlai Stevenson”
Anyone who heard Obama’s victory speech in Iowa or his concession speech in NH knows how inspirational a speaker (and observer) Obama has become. He has far surpassed anyone in either party for his ability to emotionally engage his audience in ways that haven’t been seen since the days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy.
So, to be blunt, Rove is talking out of his ass.
Oh, he admits Obama is “eloquent and moving” (something I don’t recall ever reading about Stevenson) but also “light as air.”
Coming after McCain’s plodding performance I’ll take light as air every time. If it’s Obama v. McCain, Johnny Mac better watch out — Obama will eat his lunch.
Rove admits that Obama “found his voice” at the Jeff-Jack Dinner in Iowa but “rather than sharpen and build on this message of contrast and change, Mr. Obama chose soaring rhetoric and inspirational rallies.”
This, coming from a guy whose candidate couldn’t utter 15 words in public without smirking and winking like a moron.
He admonishes Obama for using a prompter in the Iowa and NH speeches. Talk about a process story. Ask anyone who attended (or heard) those speeches. You think they’ll care (or even remember) the presence of a teleprompter? Of course not.
Rove includes an analysis about which markets to buy ad time in for Super Tuesday. Interesting, but…enh.
Rove concludes with this pearl of wisdom: “At the end of Super Tuesday, it won’t be just who won the most states, but who has the most delegates.”
No shit, Sherlock.