Tag Archives: Karl Rove

Sen. Obama MIA at vets panel meetings

Hell has frozen over.

I am about to agree with something Karl Rove has said, which is that President Obama needs to take care when referencing his work as a U.S. senator on behalf of veterans.

Barack Obama served for three years on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. He was critical of the Bush administration’s treatment of veterans. However, according to Rove — aka “Bush’s brain” — Sen. Obama often was a no-show at committee meetings when veterans health care issues came up.


Other senators have noted the same thing about Sen. Obama, who reportedly had his eye on a bigger prize almost the moment he won the Senate seat in a landslide over transplanted Republican ultraconservative candidate Alan Keyes.

Veterans health care is in the news, of course. A scandal has erupted over the deaths of about 40 veterans who waited far too long for health care at the Phoenix, Ariz., VA hospital. There’s also the issue of cooked-up records showing patients were getting care in a timely manner. Vets Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is on the griddle over it, but so far President Obama is standing behind the embattled Cabinet member.

Back to Rove’s point.

The president is right to make veterans health care a major issue. He is right to be angry; a lot of us out here are angry — and scared — as well. The president is correct to demand answers and corrective measures. Heads ought to roll once the evidence is in and Shinseki should resign if it turns out he was negligent.

President Obama, though, is learning a terrible lesson in how politicians cannot shake their own personal history when issues come in direct conflict with their record.

Rove misfired badly in suggesting Hillary Rodham Clinton may have suffered a “brain injury” when she fell in 2012. He has found the mark, though, in questioning much of the president’s demonstrated commitment to veterans health care issues, given his spotty attendance at Senate hearings.

There. That is likely to be last time I’ll say something supportive about Karl Rove for a long while.

Big Dog defends his wife

Karl Rove, you have messed with the wrong politician.

Remember when Bill Clinton told us in 1992 that if Americans elected him we’d get “two for the price of one,” meaning that we’d get his wife as part of the package?

Americans did elect the Arkansas governor and his wife has emerged as a political force of nature in her own right. Thus, it became quite problematic for Rove to suggest that Hillary Rodham Clinton — the wife of the former president — had suffered a potentially seriously brain injury when she took a spill in 2012.


Enter the ex-president, who has come roaring out in defense of his wife. When you are critical of one Clinton, Mr. Rove, you’d better be ready to take on the other one.

“First they said she faked her concussion and now they say she is auditioning for her part on β€˜The Walking Dead,’” Clinton said Wednesday in remarks to Gwen Ifill of PBS.

Ah, yes. The “faked” injury. You’ll remember that one, too. She took the spill and Republicans said the then-secretary of state staged some kind of bogus accident to divert attention from the Benghazi attack.

Rove now has denied saying what he said. He denied saying Hillary Clinton had suffered “brain damage.” No, but he did wonder why Mrs. Clinton reappeared after the fall wearing eyeglasses, which he said suggested she had suffered a “brain injury.” Brain “damage” or “injury,” to my mind the terms mean essentially the same thing.

President Clinton has put it all in perspective. “You can’t get too upset about it, it’s just the beginning,” he said. Hmmm. Is that a harbinger of an announcement from his wife that everyone expects … that she’s going to run for president in 2016?

'Dr.' Rove issues HRC diagnosis

When did Karl Rove get his medical degree?

Oh, he didn’t? He sure could have fooled me, given that the man aka “Bush’s Brain” has speculated aloud that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has suffered a serious brain injury.

Rove made that speculation a few days ago when he wondered why Clinton — a possible, if not probable candidate for president in 2016 — was wearing eyeglasses after taking a fall in 2012.

He said something about Clinton spending a month in the hospital and then reappearing with the specs, which he said suggests she suffered a brain injury when she took the spill.


Rove is engaging in a cheap and ghastly form of smear.

Clinton didn’t spend a month in the hospital; she spent four days. She wore the glasses to correct a bout of double vision she was having as a result of the fall she took.

Rove knows Clinton is considering a run for president. He also knows that she’s cleaning the clocks of any possible Republican contender, according to recent reputable polling data. Rove also understands the value of plant negative thoughts in the minds of voters who might be undecided about who to support for president two years from now.

He’s found a tantalizing opportunity in raising these questions, which seem to be specious at best and malicious at worst.

I’ll stick with White House press secretary Jay Carney’s response to “Dr.” Rove’s diagnosis. Carney said when asked about Rove’s assessment that Rove was the “last person in the country” to accept that President Obama had been re-elected in 2012. You’ll recall his outburst when his Fox News Channel colleagues called Ohio as going for the president when only a few votes had been posted. Why, he just couldn’t believe it. So, the Fox news anchors went to the network’s computer gurus’ headquarters off camera to confirm that they had called it correctly.

Rove is a talented Republican political strategist who helped elect and re-elect George W. Bush president of the United States. He’s also a fierce partisan who is letting his GOP loyalty get in the way of whatever common sense he’s got left.

Everyone gets that presidential candidates are fair game. We need to know if they’re physically able to do the world’s most difficult job. Speculating, though, on matters about which Karl Rove knows nothing is simply shameful.

Pauken pulls out, paving way for Abbott in GOP primary

This just in: Tom Pauken has announced he won’t run for governor of Texas.

Man, that makes me sad.


I consider Pauken to be a friend. We’ve known each other about 25 years, going back to when he wrote a column for the Dallas Times-Herald and I was editorial page editor of the Beaumont Enterprise. We’d publish his work frequently and that’s how we got acquainted.

He went on to become head of the Texas Republican Party. He’s written some books, one of which — “Bringing America Home — he signed for me. We’ve met many times over the years for breakfast or lunch. My wife and I have visited him in his Dallas office, where he practices law.

He’s a good guy, quite smart and is a very strong conservative. He’s no fan of George W. Bush or Karl Rove.

Would I want him as governor? Probably not. Then again, one shouldn’t vote for someone solely on friendship.

I just wish he could have stayed the course and challenged Attorney General Greg Abbott for his party’s nomination next spring. He bowed out today, saying he cannot compete against someone as well-financed as Abbott.

With that, Abbott now goes from prohibitive favorite for his party’s nomination to lead-pipe cinch. He won’t be challenged seriously by anyone on his right. I was hoping Tom Pauken could provide that challenge.

I hope he stays active in some fashion, perhaps to remind Texans that the state’s Republican Party doesn’t speak with one voice.

Keep ’em honest, Tom.

Words have consequences, Rep. Chaffetz

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, used an interesting term to describe the influence senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett has on Obama administration policy.

He said Jarrett has “tentacles on every issue.”



Not her hands. Not her fingers. She’s not merely involved. She has tentacles.

When I think of the term “tentacles,” I think of the slimy deep-sea creature that skulks along the ocean floor. Now I suppose Rep. Chaffetz, a tea party golden boy, is trying to ascribe some seedy description to the Obama administration’s senior political adviser.

Why is it such a surprise that President Obama relies on an individual to give him advice? President George W. Bush had Karl Rove. President Bill Clinton had his wife. President George H.W. Bush had Jim Baker. President Ronald Reagan relied on Mike Deaver.

I guess they all had “tentacles” on their respective bosses’ policies.

Jarrett is no different. It’s the pejorative term “tentacles,” though, that seems so irksome.