I’ve been tied up with both the Harvard Black Mass story and my upcoming trip to EWTN in Alabama so I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the Karl Rove, Hillary Clinton brain damage story.
I’m no Rove fan but looking at this dispassionately it was a brilliant move.
Consider: You want to interject an issue into the political conversation (Hillary’s Health & her concussion) when you are facing a press that is not only universally against you but dedicated to protecting the target of your attack.
You give them a statement designed to get your foes to charge like a bull:
Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.
The reaction was all that he could hope for people jumped all over him Rove game them a full news cycle of attacks on him, the Today Show, CNN and the NBC nightly news. As Doug Mataconis noted nobody really likes Karl so they where happy to pile on but along with those attacks were reactions like this:
I notice how overstated the reaction is — “no words for this level of lying”? What part is the lie? Was Rove wrong about the number of days in the hospital? (I think he was.) Clearly, she came out wearing some special glasses. Was Rove wrong in his characterization of the glasses? (Maybe not.) Certainly, it’s fair to state that the public (and the prospective donors) need accurate facts about a presidential candidate’s health. That is always demanded, and we’ve been misled by candidates in the past. (I’m thinking of Paul Tsongas.) The overreaction makes me suspicious that there really is a problem. I don’t like this how-dare-you-even-ask attitude. It makes me skeptical. But I do understand the alternative explanation: Stir up the base with stimulating outrage and a reminder that one ought to hate Karl Rove.
When the comedians hit him that gave them another whole cycle to keep the attack on Rove going and when Rove “clarified” the statement it led to the third consecutive day of the press hitting Karl Rove. Jazz Shaw noticed this result
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) May 14, 2014
That’s three days where Karl Rove and while he has pretty much been a target during that time he has also advanced the following items into the news cycle.
1. Hillary is old
2. Hillary had a serious injury before her appearance at the Benghazi hearings
3. Hillary’s health will be an issue in 2016
And he’s done it into the teeth of a media dedicated to defend her.
Consider the Clinton “brain damage” story. Right now, the press is slamming Rove for his vicious, outlandish comments. But they’re also talking about Clinton’s health problems as secretary of state, disrupting the story she wants to tell about her time in Foggy Bottom in her forthcoming memoir.
If she has a moment of Rick Perry-like forgetfulness sometime between now and the fall of 2016, Rove’s comments make it more likely that voters will wonder whether she’s still with it mentally.
Thanks to Rove this story is going to be in play for years, and that’s just from the press. How long do you think before some GOP operative links her decisions on Boko Haram or her “What difference does it make” statements to a Hillary “brain injury” or “impairment”? And when they do how fast will the Hillary defenders hurry to charge that red cape?
This is a story that will be in play for months and Karl Rove has made sure there will be plenty of video in the libraries of all the networks to bring out when it bubbles to the surface again.
That’s why he gets the big bucks.
Closing thought: Right now the MSM has spent three days on this story, how many low information voters discovered Hillary’s serious injury for the first time and will have it in the back of their mind now that the press has put it there?
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