What do the names Vlad the Impaler, Lord Voldemort and Karl Rove have in common? They all have one “v” in their names and when grouped together, none seem out of place. Of course, Vlad is dead and Voldemort is fictitious, so let’s talk about Rove, who is alive and unfortunately not fictitious.
Rove, a Republican strategist and key member of the George W. Bush regime, was heralded as being a brilliant political mind by those who stood on the right side of the aisle with him. I think everyone can concede that sometimes, even if you disagree with someone, they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Rove really is a brilliant man and the majority just doesn’t see things as well as he.
Well, Rove’s true colors came into play on Election Day 2012 when, on Fox News, he refused to admit that President Barack Obama won the state of Ohio and, therefore, reelection to his second term. The polls reported that Obama won 51 to 48 percent, but Rove — practically the only pundit in the world who predicted a victory by Republican candidate Mitt Romney — refused to accept those numbers. Right then and there, America should have collectively stopped caring about what Rove had to say. But for whatever reason, Rove is still a regular presence on Fox News.
While the presidential election is still two and a half years away, this is American politics which means it’s never too early to talk about 2016. And that means that America’s most loathed politico needs to weigh in on the matter. For anyone who’s paying attention, the election of 2016 appears to be Hillary Clinton’s race to lose, assuming she wants to run. Though two and a half years is an eon in the political world, Clinton has the name recognition, the resume and – even her detractors would admit – the competence to do the job.
Who do the Republicans have to combat Clinton’s star power? Rand Paul? Too crazy. Chris Christie? Too corrupt. Paul Ryan? Too mean. Dare I say it again: Mitt Romney, Part III? Hopefully he’s too humble to unsuccessfully seek the presidency for the third time in as many elections.
So to answer the original question: The Republicans have basically no one, and that’s precisely why Rove allegedly smeared Clinton at a recent conference, suggesting that the former Secretary of State suffered brain damage following a fall in December 2012 and would therefore be unfit to lead the country.
“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”
In actuality, what was “up with that” was that Clinton was in the hospital for three (not 30) days after undergoing treatment for a life-threatening blood clot. (And we should all be so lucky to boast the pristine, exemplary health of Karl Rove, right? Someone get this man into an aquatic therapy pool, stat!)
Shortly after that story broke, Rove took to television — Fox News, obviously — to say that he never suggested Clinton had brain damage but to double down on the claim nonetheless. Convenient, huh?
“I’m not the person who said brain damage!” Rove insisted. “A concussion is by definition a traumatic brain injury.” Rove told his roundtable mates on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace,” all of whom seemed to disagree with Rove’s original brain-damage comments, hammering Rove with incredulous responses.
“I’m not questioning her health. What I’m questioning is whether or not it’s a done deal that she’s running, and she would not be human if she … did not take this into consideration,” Rove said, dodging fire. “She’ll be 69 at the time of the 2016 election. If she gets elected and serves two terms, she’ll be 77.”
Continuing to double down, he suggested — perhaps rightfully so, however awful that statement is to make — that all presidential candidates need their health seriously examined to make sure they are fit for the job only a crazy person would want in the first place (sorry Hillary!). After all, when John McCain ran in 2008, many people were equally concerned about his health and he hadn’t suffered any major health issues at all.
Watch the video of the exchange below:
But Clinton’s reps say she is 100 percent healthy.
“From the moment this happened 17 months ago, the Right has politicized her health,” said Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman. “First they accused her of faking it, now they’ve resorted to the other extreme – and are flat out lying. Time for them to move on to their next desperate attack.”
Clinton would be 69 years old if elected in 2016, and I guess it is fair to wonder whether she’ll be too old for the job. The median age of presidents at election is only 54.
Either way, Rove, so famously wrong about the election two years ago, should take the hint and get his nose out of where he’s proven it doesn’t belong. It’s clear that without a formidable candidate of their own, Republicans will fixate on bashing Clinton until November 2016 (even if she decides not to run).
Please, Karl. I know you set up Google Alerts for yourself and might very well see this piece or have it forwarded to you by your handlers. Just go away. You’re divisive, you’re mean and, most importantly, you’re incorrect. I’m not sure why you still have a platform, but for whatever reason, you still do. I understand that you likely agree that you shouldn’t, but money is money, right?
Haven’t you made enough? America will even let you go gently into that good night.