Monday, December 03, 2007
Barack, Make Fun of Hillary, You Should
American politics' resident Yoda offers Obama some advice
If Karl Rove were born to a single mother in a galaxy far, far, away, one wouldn't be surprised if Yoda were called upon for a paternity test.
Just look at the guy. The resemblence is actually kind of creepy.
And while he may usually act a lot more like Darth Vader, Rove took a page out of Yoda's playbook today in offering Jedi/presidential hopeful Barack Obama some unsolicited advice on how to defeat leading Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"Stop acting like a vitamin-deficient Adlai Stevenson," he wrote in an open memo published in the Financial Times. "Striking a pose of being high-minded and too pure will not work. Americans want to see you scrapping and fighting for the job, not in a mean or ugly way but in a forceful and straightforward way."
Rove would certainly know this pretty well. High-minded is something that his candidates have rarely been. "Mean or ugly"? That's another matter entirely.
Rove also noted that Obama should close in on Clinton's complaints that she's being "picked on". Find a way to gently belittle her whenever she tries to use disagreements among Democrats as an excuse to complain about being picked on," Rove wrote. "The toughest candidate in the field should not be able to complain when others disagree with her. This is not a coronation."
"Blow the whistle on her when she tries to become a victim. Do it with humor and a smile and it will sting even more."
Naturally, Rove's (actually sound) advice to Obama has raised some questions regarding his motivations. While redemption and a turn back from the dark side can't be considered impossible, this is still Karl Rove we're talking about. In other words, it isn't bloody likely.
One Clinton spokesperson predictably surmised that Rove is helping set Obama up as the Democratic candidate only to help the Republicans knock him down. "Why is Karl Rove giving Senator Obama advice on how to win? Could it be that he thinks it will be easier for Republicans to run against the unknown gentleman from Illinois?"
According to Jim VandeHei, it may merely be relevance in the current campaign that Rove desires. "If you're a gambler you want to be at the table, and he very much wants to be part of this debate," VandeHei said.
Whatever his motivations, Rove's advice is very sound. If Obama wants to make one last push as the presidency, he'd be wise to follow Rove's advice to the letter.
If the plight of John McCain shows us anything, it's that there may not be a second chance at the presidency for some candidates, no matter how strong a candidate really is.