Blurring All Lines At Fox, WSJ: Anti-Obama Fundraiser Karl Rove Handicaps Obama Race
Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
In the wake Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling, Karl Rove operates at the epicenter of a revolutionary, right-wing money attack that's rewriting the rules for national campaigning and could flood the November contests with $1 billion in unlimited GOP expenditures, according to a report in Politico.
Naturally for fair and balanced Rupert Murdoch outlets, that means Rove's the perfect person to handicap campaigns in which he's actively fundraising against Democratic opponents, right?
Using his platforms as a Fox News contributor and a Wall Street Journal columnist, Rove last week pushed his Election Day analysis and stressed Republican Mitt Romney enjoyed "an easier path to victory" than Obama. Despite the fact that many electoral map projections suggest Obama enjoys a clear advantage, Rove insisted it was Romney who had the wind at his back.
Appearing on Fox, Rove insisted, "Critical battleground states are clearly leaning towards Romney or up for grabs."
As president Bush's former top advisor, Rove's a well-known, professional partisan whose job at Fox and the Journal seems to consist almost entirely of casting Obama and Democrats in a negative light. So in that regard, Rove's urgent cheerleading for Romney doesn't come as a surprise. Rove's Journal columns over the years, as well as his countless appearances on Fox, have all been, if nothing else, robotically predictable. (i.e. Obama, bad.)
What's so glaring about the rollout surrounding Rove's turn as campaign prognosticator, complete with his dubious, Romney's-the-favorite talking point, is the obvious contradiction in play. Meaning, Rove is more than just a hyper partisan devoted to talking down Obama and his chances in November. Rove is also one of the founders of the deep-pocketed, anti-Obama Super PAC, American Crossroads, as well as Crossroads GPS, two independent expenditures committed to raising $300 million in the pursuit of defeating Obama and getting more Republicans elected to Congress.
Think about: The Wall Street Journal and Fox News pay a Republican fundraiser to handicap national campaigns. They allow the founder of a right wing, anti-Obama super PAC to use the Murdoch "news" outlets to try to convince uber-wealthy supporters that Romney has a great shot at winning the White House. Given his super PAC background, it's not surprising Rove's electoral analysis so closely mirrors the message he's trying to send to conservative money men.
For Rove's super PAC to succeed, it's paramount that donors be convinced Romney's in a better position to win the White House than Obama. (Nobody likes donating to a lost cause.) So what does Rove's Journal and Fox messaging consist of? Romney's in a better position to win the White House than Obama!
Seen in that light, some of Rove's otherwise baffling analysis begins to make sense. Or at least you understand why a supposed vote-counting expert like Rove is pushing such dubious claims about the state of today's electoral college. (Hint: Follow the unlimited money.)
Perhaps Rove's strangest claim last week came during an appearance on Special Report With Brett Baier where Rove seemed to indicate it was a good thing that Romney currently trails in so many toss-up states, because if Romney were ahead that would mean he'd be "defending" them between now and November, and candidates are at a disadvantage defending states.
In other words, trailing is the new leading? That makes no sense.
Then again, neither did Rove's prediction that Romney could pick up crucial wins in New Hampshire or Michigan or New Mexico, states where, according to recent polling, Romney trails by often double-digit margins. Who writes a handicapping column for a national newspaper suggesting the candidate who trails by 9 or 14 points in key states is perfectly positioned to win those contests in November? It's absurd. Either that, or Obama's poised to take Georgia.
But that's the kind of insight Fox and the Wall Street Journal get when they blur all the lines and hire an anti-Obama fundraiser to analyze Obama elections.