Quote of the Day: Is Rick Perry Karl Rove’s Frankenstein Monster?
Our political Quote of the Day is actually a post of the day by The Huffington Post’s always must-read Howard Fineman noting how Karl Rove now finds himself like Dr. Frankenstein watching the political monster he created run amok as Rove gives off more and more signs that he wants to stop Texas Gov. Rick Perry from getting the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination:
Karl Rove won’t say it aloud, but he is afraid of Rick Perry: afraid that the smack-talking Texas governor will wreck the GOP’s chances of winning the White House and the Senate in 2012.
The Perry-Rove story is shaping up as the ultimate tale of dangerously unintended consequences, with Rove in the role of Dr. Frankenstein and Perry as his living, rampaging political creation.
Insiders know that Rove helped launch Perry’s career by advising Perry’s successful run for agriculture commissioner in 1990.
But the larger, deeper point is that Rove designed and built the Texas Republican machine that has now allowed Perry to go national — even after Rove and company tried (and failed) to stop him by running Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) against him for re-election.
Rove and much of the rest of the GOP Texas establishment was and is embarrassed by Perry: his rootin’-tootin’ style; his naked plays for the votes of the prayerful; his sometimes, almost-violent accusatory language and his preference for sound bites so pronounced he makes George W. Bush seem like Pericles.
Before Perry announced his bid, Rove was cautious in his comments. “I think he can be a formidable candidate,” Rove told The Huffington Post. “He is the governor of Texas, and he can be a force.”
But Rove has since taken to the Fox airwaves to warn Perry to pipe down, especially after the governor warned Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that he would be “treated ugly” in Texas and regarded as a “traitor” if he expanded the money supply to fight recession.
Yet Rove’s public comments only scratched the surface of his deeper concerns, according to his friends and associates. They cited Perry’s reliance on federally supported development deals — undercutting his states-on-their-own theory of American government; what they described as sweetheart deals with former staffers and, as one insider said, “Perry’s total shallowness and refusal to dig deep on the issues. “All he wants to know is the sound bite. He doesn’t care about anything else.”
There is a good measure of defensiveness in the Bush crowd’s dismissal of Perry. It is though they are staring into a cracked mirror and seeing the flaws of their favorite son, George W. Bush.
Read it in full. Fineman also provides a superb account (economical in words) of how Rove revolutionized Texas politics, accentuated the prominence and use of a party’s base — techniques he later applied to the national scene.
He ends it with this:
The whole story seems to prove one point above all: that the GOP has moved so far to the right and is so angry at Washington and at public life, that Karl Rove is a soothing force.
And the story begs a question: when will George W. Bush have something to say?
Could it be that Bush will say: “Heck of a job, Karl”?