Karl Rove Fights Off His Reckoning

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When Barack Obama won reelection by a wide margin, a lot of people thought it spelled the end for Karl Rove. The GOP's most dominant money man over the last decade was toast, everyone thought, but Rove is digging in his heels and preparing for a fight. He's not going anywhere. 

Rove, it turns out, had no idea what was going to happen in the election. His prediction was so far off what actually happened, many thought it would signal the end of American Crossroads' influence on the GOP. Rove has faced criticism from within the GOP in the election's hangover. 

Rove was so stunned when election results were announced live on Fox News he tried to argue with the network's data center over their decision to call the race. It was a very public, and unintentional, tar-and-feathering level embarrassment for Rove. The segment ended with questions being raised over Rove's role on the network. Is it still okay to use Rove as a political analyst, something he's more than qualified for from his time with the Bush campaign, when he's so involved with what he's supposed to cover? Rove doesn't just have a dog in the race; he has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in that dog. 

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Politico's Kenneth Vogel reports things aren't going so well at Crossroads, either. Rove had to face a conference call full of angry investors asking why their money didn't do what it was supposed to. Donors "weren't saying anything like, 'Hey, you dumb son of a b——,'" Stan Hubbard told Vogel. "It was all very businesslike. It was as if you were in a business conference and you were a retailer and ‘why didn’t this product sell better?’" It was a civil conversation, but it's still something Rove isn't used to: people don't question Karl Rove. 

Which is probably why his spokesman dismissed any indication that Rove planned to scale back Crossroads' operation, or limit his participation:

“We’re dusting ourselves off, analyzing the data to figure out what went wrong and charting a path forward,” he added. “As we’ve always said, Crossroads is a permanent entity and will be back in 2014 and beyond — with Karl Rove continuing in his role as adviser, providing invaluable strategic vision and fundraising capability.”

So, there you have it. Rove isn't going anywhere. It doesn't matter if you're right wrong. As the old saying goes, whoever has the money has the power.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.