Rove and His White Board Explain the Polls

Thursday, September 27, AD 2012

Karl Rove, a hero to much of the Right and a demon figure of the Left.  Frankly I have never been that impressed by Rove.  In 2000 he almost threw away a race that Bush was winning going away due to his inability to have Bush admit early in the campaign that he had once been arrested for drunk driving.  He should have told Bush, or more likely Mrs. Bush, that everything tends to come out in a presidential campaign.  Instead a Democrat political operative springs this the weekend before the election and converts an easy Bush win into a national ordeal.  In 2004 a fairly lackadaisical Bush campaign struggled to defeat John Kerry, a weak candidate who should have been little challenge.

Having said that, Rove in the video above does an excellent job  demonstrating why most presidential horserace polls, with their fixation on the 2008 electorate are, to be blunt, crap.

Michael Barone, who I have always regarded as the best political prognosticator, yesterday on the Hugh Hewitt show talked about problems with the current batch of polls:

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Rove and His White Board Explain the Polls

  • I’m not much of a Rove fan either. I was listeing to him on a talk radio show, I think it might have been Michael Medved. And he was going on about how Romney should come right out and say Obama is lying. However, he did say he can say, “That’s not true Mr. President and you know it isn’t true.” But isn’t that the same as saying he’s lying? I say the only way to call someone a lying bastard is to call him a lying bastard.

  • I was polled only once in my life and that was many years ago when Hillary Clinton was running for the NY Senate seat. I remember how they were phrasing every question in a way that no matter how you answered, it would come out positive for Hillary. After telling the guy who was asking me the questions, time and time again, that under no circumstance would I EVER vote for Clinton, he asked me why? I told him because of her position on abortion, especially partial birth abortion. He started to laugh at me in a very sneering, sarcastic way and I just hung up the phone on him. That is how they operate. Plus, I’ve never been polled again. I guess my name was just taken off the list.

    Here’s another interesting tidbit regarding the election: Cardinal Dolan, who gave the closing prayer at the convention, shares Ronald Reagan’s birthday, February 6th. When Timothy Dolan was born, Reagan was celebrating his 39th birthday. A coincidence?

  • Reagan celebrated his 39th birthday for many years.

    As for Rove, I don’t know anyone who considers him a hero. The more rightward you go, the more you find animosity toward him. I don’t know if that’s fair or not, but he tends to get lumped in with the more moderate compromise-oriented Republican talking heads.

  • ‘He started to laugh at me in a very sneering, sarcastic way”

    That is a prime example of a push-pull poll which is basically a call in support of a candidate disguised as a poll.

  • In 2000 he almost threw away a race that Bush was winning going away due to his inability to have Bush admit early in the campaign that he had once been arrested for drunk driving.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    The Bush DUI arrest story came out in the press during the early part of 2000 during the primaries. It was concerning to some people (mostly McCain supporters) but didn’t derail the Bush campaign for the GOP nomination. Follow up stories mentioned more about Bush’s past drinking and that it had imperiled his marriage before he gave up alcohol completely. The story then died.

    In the fall campaign season, the Establishment Media resurrected the DUI arrest story at the behest of Gore operatives and misleadingly played it up as if it were an entirely new and unheard of revelation. Bush partisans considered that episode to be an instance of the Establishment Media (NYT and alphabet networks, I’m looking at you) shamelessly taking sides with the left-liberal team on the political playing field. Of course, now the track record of the Establishment Media playing hard for its favorite candidate is well established (ask Hillary Clinton’s 2008 supporters) but in 2000 accusations that Big Media played dirty pool weren’t taken seriously by The Serious People – that was considered Rush Limbaugh crazy talk – so the media was able to blindside the Rove’s Bush campaign operation late in the fall campaign.

  • “Karen Hughes, Bush’s spokeswomen said the 54-year-old Texas governor, who has been open about his past drinking problems, had not publicly disclosed the arrest because not even his 18-year-old twin daughters were aware of it. He has said he gave up drinking the day after his 40th birthday.”

    http://articles.cnn.com/2000-11-02/politics/bush.dui_1_arrest-from-news-reports-george-w-bush-kennebunkport-police?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

14 Responses to Rovian Roadmap

  • Thus the dilemma neatly summarized by Prof. Rove. Churchfolk- that is of the Caucasian variety- sat this one out. Got the vibe that McCain wasn’t up to their standards. Particularly on Life Issue Number One, trampled on by Obama campaign. Seeing a nice bubbling of this issue. Accurate and funnier summary circulated this weekend by Jonah Goldberg, one of our syndicated faves. No more mooshy moderates. No more Christie Todd Whitmans. Strong on life issues, free-market economy, support for the guys and gals in the armed forces. All else is far below in rankings. This effort will make the 2010 midterms more pleasant for many of us.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis I deleted your comment. This isn’t Daily Kos. Feel free to propound your ideas but I will not tolerate in my threads mere insult.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    That is in fact Bush’s nickname for him. It is not my doing.

  • John Henry: Did Mr. De Francisis refer to Mr. Rove as “word removed by Donald R. McClarey”.

    Yes he did John Henry and in my threads I am going to draw the line at such terms no matter who bestows them as nicknames. I expect that during the next four years debate will become quite heated politically and I am going to do my best in my threads to deal with ideas and not allow partisan passion to start an insult war that accomplishes nothing.

  • Shucks, you mean we don’t get to re-use Nixon’s nicknames for people?

  • Fair enough. Apologies for violating the rule. In any case, thanks for posting the article. I am glad to see that Republican party strategists recognize the importance of the pro-life movement.

  • No apologies necessary John Henry. I have seen quite a few political combox threads get too heated and degenerate into useless back and forth and I therefore am going to be proactive in eliminating items in my threads that I think could start a flame war.

    “Shucks, you mean we don’t get to re-use Nixon’s nicknames for people?”

    I am afraid Darwin that I would then have to make heavy use of “expletive deleted” editing!

  • I saw Karl Rove debating Comes (of “Hannity of’) on ESCR and the Mexico City policy last week. I believe Rove’s concern — counter the liberal caricatures of him — was genuine rather than manipulative.

  • Christopher,

    I have to ask because I cannot make your little avatar.

    What is it?

  • Karl Rove was interviewed in Newsweek recently — best line:

    Do you like Joe Biden?

    “I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington.”

  • I have to ask because I cannot make your little avatar. What is it?

    Tito — the painting is “crucifix 46”, by William Congdon.

    You can read about him here.

  • “I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington.”

    Heh.

    Strikes me that one of the interesting things about the Obama presidency is that Biden is not a remotely credible successor. He’d be 74 in 2016, and he was really more there to assure people that there would be an adult around if they weren’t sure about Obama’s experience.

    So if Obama is seen has having had a successful presidency, he won’t have a direct successor but rather an open field to vie to replace him. Unless he dumps Biden in 2012 and runs with a different VP then.

  • As for 2012, if Obama encounters the problems I expect him to encounter I wouldn’t rule out a challenge by Clinton. One way to forestall that would be to dump Biden and put Clinton on the ticket. Whether she would accept would depend upon how much trouble she believes Obama is in. In any case Biden is a completely dispensable figure with no independent following in the party who could be given the heave ho without a second’s hesitation. I think that is one reason why Obama picked him.