Karl Rove has made it clear on multiple occasions that he actively dislikes Barack Obama — if there’s a more helpful testament to the strength of Obama’s character, it doesn’t come to mind — and he continues to make his criticisms of the Democratic candidate more and more personal.
“Even if you never met him, you know this guy,” Rove said, per Christianne Klein. “He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”
Of all the metaphors Rove could have used to attack the first credible African-American candidate for the presidency, he had to go with “the guy at the country club”? Seriously? Jake Tapper noted, accurately, that Obama “wouldn’t be admitted into many country clubs that members of the Capitol Hill Club frequent.”
What's more, this is also surprisingly off-message for Rove. For months, Rove has sought to characterize Obama as a dangerous outsider who we don’t really know and can’t trust. Everything about him, the argument goes, is “foreign.” The various far-right smears — about Obama’s religion, his family, his name, his patriotism — are all part of the same conservative frame.
Now, however, Obama’s part of the country-club set? Hanging around with a martini? If I’m not mistaken, Rove is talking about the ultimate insider — which is the opposite of the message Rove was emphasizing up until very recently. Can’t these guys pick one smear and go with it?
And finally, Greg Sargent notes the irony of Rove’s attack.
It should also be noted, of course, that Rove took a man who actually is a country club denizen who makes “snide comments” about others — that would be George W. Bush — and turned him into a regular Joe. Meanwhile, the guy who would struggle for admittance to some of these exclusive enclaves — Obama — is now “the guy at the country club.” Rovian up-is-downism at its finest.
Exactly. Rove’s description sounds spot-on like Bush — right down to the “snide comments” he makes about people who pass him by.