Shameless name-dropping: Karl Rove and I once did battle of sorts, and I won

Forty-four years ago, when I was a callow youth and the now-infamous Karl Rove was an even callower youth (I was 28, and he was 19), we were paid campaigners on opposite sides of the battle for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. I was working for Democratic challenger Adlai E. Stevenson III (above), and Rove was working for Republican incumbent Ralph Tyler Smith, who had been appointed to the Senate when Everett Dirksen died. Rove and I both resorted to dirty campaign tricks, but mine, I dare say, were more effective. Rove’s most infamous dirty trick of that campaign year was when he purloined a letterhead from the office of Alan Dixon, our side’s candidate for Illinois State Treasurer, and used it to invite countless people to a Democratic rally, promising “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing.” Of course, when those goodies were not provided, the rally turned into a major bust. My dirty trick produced results that played out more dramatically. In those days, the Chicago Sun-Times conducted an influential Straw Poll statewide during campaign seasons every other year. I got a tip on exactly when the Sun-Times pollsters would be appearing on street corners in Rockford, and I deployed an army of volunteers to stuff the pollsters’ ballot boxes with votes for Stevenson. That tactic was unfair, for sure, but it was no crime. Besides, such primitive, unscientific methodology made the poll almost an invitation for skewing. When the Sun-Times reported a few days later that the Republican ticket was in trouble in Winnebago County, a supposed stronghold for the GOP, alarm bells were heard as far away as the White House. A campaign visit to Rockford by President Nixon on Ralph Tyler Smith’s behalf was quickly scheduled. But Nixon’s visit was futile. By then, the entire Democratic ticket in Winnebago County had been energized by the shocking results of the Sun-Times poll, and Stevenson carried the county — and the state as a whole — by a landslide margin. Stevenson’s coattails also helped carry several local Democratic candidates into office. Karl Rove and I thereafter went on to other separate adventures. His have been nationally notable. Mine have not. But I wouldn’t trade places with him for anything. I’m disliked by only hundreds of people, at most. He’s despised by millions....

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Karl Rove warns Republicans that opposition to Obamacare may not suffice in November

The political architect of two presidential-election victories by George W. Bush is  TELLING his fellow Republicans that they shouldn’t get too giddy about their prospects in this year’s midterm congressional elections: One day after Republicans captured a win in Florida’s 13th district special election, GOP strategist Karl Rove warned his party to not get too excited. In a Wednesday op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Rove stressed that Republican David Jolly’s victory over Democrat Alex Sink was about more than just Obamacare. He credited Jolly for “expanding the debate” to multiple factors, namely Sink’s record as a banking executive. “Don’t uncork the champagne,” Rove began, warning later that Obamacare “isn’t sufficient by itself” to defeat Democrats. Rove words arrived hours after White House Press Secretary  Jay Carney said Obamacare was neither a “negative or a positive” in the special election race. Carney added that the 13th district seat, which opened after the death of longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), had belonged to the GOP for decades. “This was a safe Republican seat for them,” Carney said, according to Reuters. “Republicans held the seat for 58 years. Last night they won by 2 points. So it is what it...

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Karl Rove gets a little blowback for smearing Hillary Clinton

This video, which counters a recent TV ad sponsored by American Crossroads, a Karl Rove outfit, was produced by a liberal organization calling itself the Bridge Project. [youtube]http://youtu.be/1_4tG1lOSI8[/youtube]  

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Dispatch from front lines of GOP civil war: Tea Party group portrays Karl Rove as a Nazi

Vicious infighting among Republicans these days has increasingly become grist for our liberal mill here at Applesauce — as evidenced, for example by THIS ENTRY  from yesterday. And now there’s THIS: A top tea party group is taking its clash with Karl Rove to a new level, sending out a fundraising email Tuesday featuring a photoshopped image [above} of the GOP operative in an SS uniform. “Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove’s Face,” reads the subject line of the email, from Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots. Tuesday afternoon, more than five hours after the fundraising email went out, Tea Party Patriots issued a public apology to Rove. “We apologize to Mr. Rove,” Martin said in the statement. “While we may have strong disagreements with Mr. Rove on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn’t happen again.” (Snip) The tea party drew scathing criticism when a relatively small number of activists used racist rhetoricand Hitler comparisons in their criticism of President Barack Obama. Tea party leaders quickly denounced the rhetoric as unrepresentative of the small government movement, and pointed out that liberals protesting the Iraq war had compared former President George W. Bush to Nazis. In fact, the Tea Party Patriots’ email lambastes “’Republicans’ like Rove” for calling “Tea Party members ‘racists’, ’bigots,’ ‘paranoid’ and even political ‘underbrush’” over “just that last few weeks.” The fundraising pitch asks supporters to help the group raise $1 million by the end of the month, which it says will be used to oppose efforts by a new Rove-fronted outfit that intends to boost establishment candidates in 2014 GOP primaries. Tea party groups have cried foul over Rove’s effort, which they say is an attempt to purge the GOP of their influence. The Tuesday email asserts “Karl Rove believes he can raise hundreds of millions of dollars, crush the Tea Party movement and protect the big-government status quo in Washington from millions of freedom loving Americans. Well, he’s...

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Karl Rove doesn’t like it when Fox News declares that Obama has won Ohio

This little drama fits nicely with my frequent assertions that the polls commissioned by Fox News generally are reliable and accurate — even if the talking heads on that network usually are full of crap. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQLV7nqD3CA[/youtube]  

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