POLITICO seized the moment and found enough people talking harshly about Karl Rove to patch together a rather rambling piece which wasn't elevated much beyond sensationalism by their use of the word "schadenfreude". Maybe Rove's detractors have been licking their lips lately, but don't count out Karl.
Rove is the guy a lot of disgruntled people would like to hate. To democrats he represents the remnants of Bush. To TEA party types he represents the Buddha of Neo-con. To conservatives who pay attention he represents the guy who fights with plenty of ammo, plenty of skill and plenty of connections.
But I will confess that many of the more traditional methods for winning elections don't seem to be working as well in this climate as they did after Bush got the 9-11 bounce. The patriotism which seemed universal in those days seems to have jumped the tracks and veered sharply left.
The TEA party mentality is far more pervasive than TEA party membership. A lot of crazy notions are now in play that used to be considered far outside the mainstream. Much of this is born out of fear, and a lot of that fear is focused on Obama.
Americans are engaged in a guerrilla war of political battles these days much more than the organized army of lock step republicans which used to be the GOP. Young men in khakis, blue blazer and blue shirts were the model for young Republicans. Proper ladies with lipstick, managed hairdos and designer dresses found GOP events to be wonderful gatherings of calm, sane, engaged and successful people.
Today's political gatherings run the gamut from shouting matches at Town Hall meetings, to chanting rallies of people in colonial garb carrying signs threatening a new revolution. It's not that Karl is the enemy, nor is it that he has lost his ability to influence elections, its just that his image is far more clean cut than the new breed of political activists and to some he represents an age that has passed.
But Karl Rove is a brilliant guy. He's not all about raising money without purpose. He has a great nose for which way the electorate is moving and the skills to adapt his strategies to take maximum advantage of the momentum.
So don't think for a minute that because POLITICO is pushing the narrative that Rove has lost his mo-jo that he is out of the game. Rove is a steady hand, a clear thinker and a devoted conservative. Sure, there are some who want to re-define the term "conservative" to mean "Libertarian" and in so doing try to paint the mainstream as out of touch, but mark my words. Between now and November 2014 the recipe for victory will be a subtle blend of both viewpoints, carefully orchestrated by guys like the architect, Karl Rove. Why? Because he not only likes to win, he knows how.