Karl Rove will be back in the game


Karl Rove at the Republican National Convention in August. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

The super-connected Post reporter Karen Tumulty says, “With more than a little glee, Democrats and even some Republicans say . . . politics has finally passed Rove by.” Baloney. You will get none of that here.

How would the GOP have been stronger in 2012 if Karl Rove hadn’t done what he did with the super PAC American Crossroads?

I haven't spoken to Karl in months, but I think it's too bad he can't become chairman of the Republican National Committee. The next chairman of our party needs to be friendlier (and prettier) than Karl is on TV, but the next chairman also needs to be very friendly with Karl Rove one-on-one.

If Karl has a candidate for party chairman, I hope that person wins. We need Karl to be on the speed dial of every GOP national leader.

Karl has never been good at networking, schmoozing or being particularly patient with others. All he does is build great campaigns.

He wasn’t in charge of anything that cost us Republicans votes this year. Mitt Romney was never even his favorite. And he didn’t really know many of the drones that were part of the Romney old guard from Massachusetts — who were, at times, a little too eager to show they could win without Karl and put distance between themselves and Bush 43.

But despite all that, Karl did herculean work for the cause when he didn’t have to lift a finger. He has a great gig giving speeches and could have easily relaxed as a benign, formerly informed talking head on TV. Instead, he took the point. Rather than blame Karl Rove for any loss, we should thank him for many close victories.

His critics want to hound him out of the game because they fear him and the Fox News Channel, which gives him a voice.

Karl got a bum rap when his enemies targeted him during the Valerie Plame affair. That whole thing turned out to be a political kidney stone: No fun at the time, but when it passed, there was no harm done to Karl. All his enemies took their best shot, but Karl didn’t quit and the attacks made him stronger. I suspect — and hope — he will take today's punches, his chin won't hit his chest and he will soon be back in the game, out in front.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.

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