Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sid Salter: The Ruminations of Rove

During a quiet dinner here at a usually packed downtown restaurant rendered nearly vacant by spring break, I had an opportunity to break bread with one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in American politics in the last half-century – Karl Rove.

Rove, 67, served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and deputy White House chief of staff from 2004–2007. During his tenure with Bush, Rove oversaw the White House offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs.

In a 2010 New York Times Sunday book review, the “myth” of Rove’s reputation was described as “a mashup of Lee Atwater, Machiavelli, and Satan.” The quiet, unassuming man sitting in a booth across from me in Restaurant Tyler slicing into a pork chop and talking politics was not at all that menacing.

Polite, personable and more deeply conversant about the current Mississippi political landscape than I would have imagined, Rove exudes confidence, competence, and comfort in his own skin. He is direct, but not mean-spirited. And he enjoys the rough-and-tumble of retail politics.


These days, the Colorado native is under contract as a contributor to Fox News and is a Wall Street Journal opinion columnist. Additionally, Rove has written a New York Times bestselling book that drew solid reviews both from friend and foe alike. That book was a surprisingly revealing 2010 memoir entitled “Courage and Conviction: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight.”

Rove’s second book was his fine 2015 historical analysis “The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters” – a valuable and nuanced examination of the landmark presidential campaign between Republican McKinley and Democrat Williams Jennings Bryan.

The prospect of a third Rove book – this one an as-yet untitled historical analysis of presidential decision-making – brought him to Mississippi State University’s Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library to conduct research. Rove said his Grant research centered on the “Gilded Age” president’s 1874 decision to veto the so-called “inflation bill” after the Panic of 1873.

Despite the withering criticism leveled at Rove and the man he first helped attain two terms as governor of Texas and then two terms in the White House after the tumultuous 2000 presidential election and the arduous legal challenges in Florida that ensued by Democrats, it’s now beyond interesting to view the work and political decorum of Rove and President Bush through the spinning kaleidoscope of the Trump Administration and the political philosophies espoused by now-exiled former Trump svengali Steve Bannon.

Asked about the future of the Republican Party, Rove said he couldn’t predict the outcome of the ongoing national battle between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party movement.

But in talking about current politics in Mississippi, Rove is extremely conversant. As far back as the 2014 Mississippi Republican U.S. Senate primary battle between U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and Tea Party favorite state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, Rove drew fire from McDaniel and his followers as a supposed part of the vast GOP Establishment conspiracy to keep McDaniel out of Washington.

In assessing McDaniel’s latest moves, Rove believes McDaniel would have lost a heads-up GOP Senate primary with incumbent Mississippi Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker. From an organizational and fundraising standpoint, Rove said Wicker had “done all the rights things” to nail down a re-election win.

Rove noted that many of the political action committees or Super PACs that had lavished money on McDaniel in 2014 aren’t likely to repeat that investment “because they just don’t have that kind of money right now” and because of MCDaniel’s missteps.

Key among Rove’s observations regarding Mississippi’s now-two U.S. Senate races is the decision by McDaniel’s Tea Party forces to confront popular Republican Gov. Phil Bryant with demands to appoint McDaniel to fill Cochran’s unexpired term. Of course, that reaction had already made it around the track in Republican circles in Mississippi before Rove arrived.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sid, nobody cares about your establishment ruminations. You're a shill for the Mississippi political machine whose only intent is to maintain the status quo - which is herd everybody toward the bottom while the connected raise their pay scales. Please go away. Just retire.

Anonymous said...

Yes please go away and take Rove with you. The only thing we can say is at least they ate good. Regardless we are backing McDaniel. Bryant said he wanted someone young so he appoints a 60+ year old? Guess ol Phil can't count either.

Anonymous said...

Go away 6:55. You're just a shill for a washed up McDaniel.

Anonymous said...

It's amusing that so many Republicans pretend now to have never heard of George W. Bush.

It's also amusing that a man who writes a sentence like this monstrosity is the dean of Mississippi political journalism:

"Despite the withering criticism leveled at Rove and the man he first helped attain two terms as governor of Texas and then two terms in the White House after the tumultuous 2000 presidential election and the arduous legal challenges in Florida that ensued by Democrats, it’s now beyond interesting to view the work and political decorum of Rove and President Bush through the spinning kaleidoscope of the Trump Administration and the political philosophies espoused by now-exiled former Trump svengali Steve Bannon."

Anonymous said...

Mississippi’s own Rove, Pete Perry, was on Gallo in September of 13. He predicted McDaniel would not get 20% against Cochran.

Anonymous said...

Rove, along with Cheney, are principally responsible for the disastrous War in Iraq that left many good American men and women dead, disabled or depressed and ruined many families in the process. His inability to adequately predict outcomes and consequence is almost unrivaled in American history relative to his past positions of influence. He is a shameful man.

Anonymous said...

7:56 apparently you can't read or count either, she not 60+, she's 58. Not campaigning for her, just correcting the ignorant

Anonymous said...

There are differences between 2014 and now. GOP is no longer the party out of power. The winds of dissatisfaction that Trump rode to the presidency are decidedly weaker after 15 months of the Administration. But the most important difference is that McDaniel was not well known statewide back then, so he could play the Tea Party outsider role with little review.

We know all about McDaniel now, and he will not enjoy that anti-incumbent boost he got four years ago. He'll be well out of the money this time.

Anonymous said...

Look! Up in the sky!

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

It's Supersuckup!

Anonymous said...

9:59 said "The winds of dissatisfaction that Trump rode to the presidency are decidedly weaker after 15 months of the Administration."

You have got to be kidding. Trump has more support in MS now than ever before.

Quit watching TV. Journalism is dead and discredited Even Camille Paglia of the NY Times admits this fact.

Anonymous said...

Support of Trump does not translate to support of McDaniel. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

I thought only first year journalism students attempted to impress with oddly woven sentences containing 37 words or more. Then I'm reminded of Salter who does it every time he touches a keyboard. The redneck Shakespeare is how he sees his legacy. Not unlike a cross between Jerry Clower and Bill Minor.

Anonymous said...

Sid will comment on anything and everything, but not Andy.

Anonymous said...

"Not unlike a cross between Jerry Clower and Bill Minor." Nice!

Anonymous said...

at 8:07 AM Huh? I'm pulling for Cindy!

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, I see you have a good number of McDaniel ilk typing today. If Rove says McDaniel is finished then I believe it.

Anonymous said...

Really, 6:40? He's not called an election right in fifteen years.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.