Karl Rove Explains Bizarro World Campaign History

This whole Karl Rove interview from the NYT Magazine has a weird vibe to it, but his first answer is a typically Rovian masterpiece of cognitive dissonance.

Do you see the election results as a repudiation of your politics?
Our new president-elect won one and a half points more than George W. Bush won in 2004, and he did so, in great respect, by adopting the methods of the Bush campaign and conducting a vast army of persuasion to identify and get out the vote.

I guess if you think that George W. Bush was doing something groundbreaking by getting together a big staff and trying to get people to vote for him, then yes, Obama is clearly following in his footsteps. As was McCain, and also every major party presidential campaign ever.

But let’s get real now. The McCain campaign was the one with all of the Bush ’04 vets, including Rove protegé Steve Schmidt. They were the ones who clumsily adopted the old culture war tactics, including a dash of bungled Swift Boating.

Meanwhile, this is how Obama rolls:

“I don’t want you guys freelancing and, quote, protecting me from what you’re doing,” he lectured his staff. “I’m saying this loud and clear—no winks, no nods here,” he said, irritated to take the heat for a clumsy dirty trick he had not known about and would never have authorized. “I’m looking at every one of you. If you think you’re close to the line, the answer isn’t to protect me—the answer is to ask me.”

That sounds exactly like Bush/Cheney ’04.

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