Karl Rove's Odd Advice For John McCain

Back in April, in a WSJ column, Karl Rove urged John McCain to be less reserved about his personal life and background, and run more on his biography. “[I]t is clear,” Rove wrote, “that Mr. McCain is one of the most private individuals to run for president in history.”

Four months later, Rove recycled the exact same point in another WSJ column.

Mr. McCain is the most private person to run for president since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s. He needs to share (or allow others to share) more about him, especially his faith. The McCain and Obama campaigns are mirror opposites. Mr. McCain offers little biography, while Mr. Obama is nothing but.

Rove has McCain’s strategy entirely backwards. McCain isn’t a private person at all — as the Weekly Standard’s Dean Barnett put it, “You know how you can tell really private people? They spend 26 years in public life as a politician. They also do things like host Saturday Night Live where they sing Streisand tunes before a national TV audience.”

“McCain offers little biography”? McCain has been offering little but biography.

As for the suggestion that McCain do more to share “his faith,” there's a good reason we haven't seen more religion talk from McCain: it's a very awkward subject for him.


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