Rove, Spinning Without Wheels

Mr. Rove has penned yet another opinion piece for the WSJ this morning. Here's my take on Rove: Clearly smart and clearly on the other side. During the campaigns, I tuned in when he talked because his analysis was concise, practical and pointed. I didn't like that he was right, but I am not one to turn down a good idea, regardless of its source.

That Karl Rove is gone. The piece this morning asks of the Obama administration is "winging it," implying poor planning an a cavalier attitude in its efforts. Rove's article, however, is a collection of the mistakes (that's 1/2 way between the jolly "misstep" and the oafish "blunder") seen in the first month of the Obama administration. (Let's ponder that for a second - we are still a few days short of one month - how much do we expect?).

Troubles with the appointees were mistakes, but there was no "shooting from the hip" on these choices. They were vetted and discussed for a while. You can all that process flawed, yes, cavalier, no.

Closing guantanamo within a year. Again, the transition team knew this was a serious goal and has been putting things in place to make it happen. I think a year is an aggressive timeline. I think the president knew that when he said and said it to spur people to action. Again, done knowingly, not on the fly.

Finally, raising expectations about the Geithner recovery speech. This, again, proved a mistake as Geithner delivered a good performance that was light on details. Maybe you could cite a lack of caution by Obama in touting the speech. One example. Hardly cavalier. Oh, and Mr. Rove would be shouting down the president as indecisive to the point of eroding American confidence if he did otherwise.

Of course, let's remember that this is all coming from the mastermind of Bush's efforts - throughout his time in office - to minimize expectations. The fact that even Rove's expectations have gone up regarding the office of the president - well, maybe change has come to Washington.

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