November 13, 2006

Rove Is No Fool

The democrat’s secret weapon? Apparently, Karl Rove this time around.

Rove was convinced that polls were wrong, and that he had a much more accurate metric.

“Rove’s miscalculations began well before election night. The polls and pundits pointed to a Democratic sweep, but Rove dismissed them all. In public, he predicted outright victory, flashing the V sign to reporters flying on Air Force One. He wasn’t just trying to psych out the media and the opposition. He believed his “metrics” were far superior to plain old polls. Two weeks before the elections, Rove showed NEWSWEEK his magic numbers: a series of graphs and bar charts that tallied early voting and voter outreach. Both were running far higher than in 2004.” [NEWSWEEK]

So confident was he in his method over plain old polls that he was planning to convene Republican political scientists to study his amazing new analysis. Better still, he had everyone at the White House hyp-mo-tized by his new method and the optimism that it brought. There’s your real reason Bush was so bull-headed about Rumsfeld right up to the election. Rove was convinced that they were winning. And he convinced them.

He even had some Democrats nervous. “Why are they so confident?” It is tough to tell the confidence of total self delusion vs. the confidence of having the facts. Not a new situation for this administration, by a long shot.

In the wake of an election, I always grow a little tired of politics. But it struck me as too perfect to learn that Rove had worked his magic on his own team this time.

Those familiar with the idea of the court fool know that “Many legends and anecdotes portray fools as informal, cunning advisors. The expression ‘fool’s license’ is said to come from this custom.” That license would have been used to say things that other people couldn’t get away with saying, for the purpose of allowing the king an opportunity at self-examination others might be afraid to give him. In this way, the king might expand his wisdom.

In the case of the 2006 elections, Rove was no fool.

Posted by James at November 13, 2006 2:57 PM
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Best election quote from Rove: "I have the math."

Whatever that meant.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 13, 2006 3:30 PM

Well, there's the confidence of having many dirty tricks as well, which is what I was worried about. Thank goodness that fear was unfounded.

Posted by: Maggie at November 13, 2006 4:18 PM

Rove's Math is to Real Arithmetic
Intelligent Design is to Real Science

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at November 13, 2006 4:25 PM

Those voting machines are still screwy.

I haven't heard of any evidence of voter fraud that rose to the level of previous Republican attempts (phone jamming in 2002). Of course, when your party wins, you're less likely to look into the possibility of fraud. Such fraud may give you some percentage advantage, but if that advantage is overcome it's even harder to prove fraud. And there's little motivation.

It's safe to say there was no October surprise, though. Who needs one if you (Rove) know you're winning?

Posted by: James at November 13, 2006 4:37 PM

Perhaps there was no organized fraud because they didn't feel there was a need?

Posted by: Chuck S. at November 13, 2006 5:18 PM

Nah, there was no organized corruption (or little, maybe just enough to test some things) for 2 reasons:

1) They'd rather let the Dems hang in the wind not getting much done for 2 years and sweep them back out in '08
2) People were looking for it this time... Maybe after a relatively controversy-free election in '06 there won't be so many questions in '08?

Posted by: jc at November 14, 2006 11:31 PM

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