View Full Version : Advice to Obama from Karl Rove

01-17-2008, 07:55 PM
FROM: Karl Rove

SUBJECT: How to Beat Hillary

Not that you have asked for advice, but here it is anyway: Iowa is your chance to best her. If you do not do it there, odds are you never will anywhere. You are way behind her in most national polls. The only way to change that is to beat her in Iowa so people around America take another look at you. You did a smart thing organising effectively in the early primary states. But you can take advantage of that only if you win Iowa and keep her from building an overwhelming sense of invincibility and inevitability.

The good news is you have again got “the buzz”. Polls are looking better for you in Iowa and the other early states. Your press is improving, with your performance at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner a big help. Hillary Clinton has made unforced errors. But she is still the frontrunner and there are several things you need to do quickly to win.

First, stop acting like a vitamin-deficient Adlai Stevenson. Striking a pose of being high-minded and too pure will not work. Americans want to see you scrapping and fighting for the job, not in a mean or ugly way but in a forceful and straightforward way.

Hillary may come over as calculating and shifty but she looks in control. You, on the other hand, often come over as weak and ineffectual. In some debates, you do not even look at her when disagreeing with her, making it look as if you are afraid of her. She offers you openings time and again but you do not take advantage of them. Sharpen your attacks and make them more precise.

Take the exchange in the Philadelphia debate about Bill and Hillary keeping documents hidden about her role as first lady in his White House. She was evasive. You spoke next. You would have won a big victory if you had turned to her and said: “Senator, with all due respect, you and your husband could release those documents right now if you wanted to. Your failure to do so raises questions among a lot of Americans about what you’re hiding and those questions would hurt our party if you were our nominee.” But your response was weak as dirty dishwater. Do not let other great opportunities pass by.

Second, focus on the fact that many Democrats have real doubts about Hillary. They worry she cannot win, will be a drag on the ticket and that if she got to the White House it would be a disaster. You know better than most what they are worried about; they have told you their fears. It is why you have done so well raising money from Bill’s backers and gaining support from Clinton administration officials. Talk about those doubts. Put them in a bigger context than just the two of you. Remind primary voters that these shortcomings will hurt Democratic chances.

Third, when you create controversies do not pick issues where you are playing the weaker hand. For example, you attacked her for lacking foreign policy experience. It is true she was first lady, not secretary of state, and nobody will ever mistake her for James Baker III. But your qualifications are even thinner; you were a state senator and lived in Indonesia when you were six. Big deal. Americans think she has more foreign policy experience than you – and she does.

Fourth, when you disagree with her be clear about what you believe. You cannot afford more garbled responses like the one you gave in Las Vegas on drivers’ licences for illegal aliens. Answer yes or no. Do not give voters evidence you are as calculating as her.

Fifth, you need to do a better job explaining what kind of change you represent. The change theme is a good one and Democratic voters know you were against the war and represent the idea of something fresh. But they do not know who you really are, what you want to do and where you want to take the country. Taking her down a few notches is step one; telling people who you are is the next. Both are necessary.

Sixth, find a way to gently belittle her whenever she tries to use disagreements among Democrats as an excuse to complain about being picked on. The toughest candidate in the field should not be able to complain when others disagree with her. This is not a coronation. Democrats do not like her sense of entitlement. She is not owed the nomination. It does not belong to her simply because her name is Clinton. So blow the whistle on her when she tries to become a victim. Do it with humour and a smile and it will sting even more.

Hillary comes across as cold, distant and conspiracy-minded, more like Richard Nixon than her sunny, charming husband. During the Clinton presidency she oversaw a disaster (the effort to sell Hillarycare) and argued hard against welfare reform, one of the promises on which he had campaigned. She is a hard-nosed competitor with a tough and seasoned staff.

But her record is weak, her personality off-putting and her support thin. If she wins the nomination it will be because her rivals – namely you – were weak when you confronted her and could not look her in the eye when you did. She is beatable but you have to raise your game. Iowa is your great chance for a breakthrough. Win it convincingly and you can build on it in the contests that follow. Lose it and victory becomes much more difficult.
Funny how people who destroyed one Political Party,think the other Party now needs them. What I see in Obama is a man of great intelligence, to address the problems of the U.S,but also a man,keeping close cover on an angry ego,in short,he could have clay feet,on a World Stage.

Gayle in MD
01-17-2008, 08:23 PM
I think this is a real commentary to just how afraid Rove is of Hillary Clinton. The Repubs worst nightmare is their candidate, having to spar in the National Debate, with a genius like Hillary Clinton. Obama has already shown that he is 90% rhetoric, 10 % meat.

Obama, will never have the power in a dabate, that Hillary has. Easy pickin's for the Repubs. That's what Rove knows is the only chance the Republicans have.

Sixty percent of the people in this country, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, approve of Bill Clinton's performance as president. I'd like to see George Bush match that, seven years out of office. That will ever happen!

BTW, I heard Clinton interviewed on the subject of their official papers. Rove knows that releasing those papers is completely out of the hands of a former president. They must be reviewed, at length, for national Security purposes, not only by the United States Archives, but also by the official Archive Representatives who work at the Presidential Libraries, before they can be released. Clinton, has done more to speed that process than any other president before him. That's a far cry from deep sixing all the archives, retroactive, into two previous administrations, as Bush did, to cover up for his father, and hide certain embarrassing information, all the way back into Reagan's Administration.

Bush tried to claim personal ownership of all his presidential papers. The courts turned him down. Wonder why he did that?


01-17-2008, 08:53 PM
The next President had better have more than hope,when it comes to negotiating. This is a quid pro quo world at its kindest. I think Rice found that out late,and Bush just got the word from the Saudi oil minister last week. Iraq has kept the Republicans pinned down,but I want to see,what they have to throw at Hilary.LOL

Gayle in MD
01-17-2008, 09:32 PM
Oh, they'll pull out all the stops, when it comes to bashing Hillary, like, did they ever have any?

Republicans, barring any successful election fraud, will have no chance taking the White House, IMO. With Housing starts the lowest in twenty seven years, and the rising trade deficit, and National deficit, only the nutty will vote for them.

Besides, I believe that Obama, if he slides downward, would approach Hillary to vie for the Vice Presidency. If any Rep[ublican began to look threatening, that would virtually blow him out of the water. Obama would have been smart, IMO, to have made his goal the Vice Presidency, from the start. The Clinton's have done far too much for blacks in this country, to be overlooked by the black community. Obama's greatest appeal is among the young voters, who historically, don't show up at the eleventh hour.

Republicans could have just skpped this election all together, IMO. the economic realities of the Bush administration will be hitting home right around election time. Who's going to trust them again with money, when they can't even handle their own campaign money? McCain, who is no doubt an American hero, as far as his service to his country, and the price he paid in a POW camp, nevertheless, is displaying signs of being mentally affected by his age. Guiliani, doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell, and no foreign experience at all. Thompson has a terrible voting record, as does Obama, who voted present 130 times, to avoid any political fall out. Thompson was caught giving heads up to Nixon during the impeachment investigations. He had a mistress the whole time he was in Washington, and it was very widely known. I expect more on that to come out in the future. Also, Thompson has been out of the loop, for far too long, and our National Security circumstances have changed drastically since he was around, while Hillary has been right in the middle of things, in that regard. If there has ever been a flip flopper, Romney takes the gold medal, not to mention, he, too, has no foreign policy experience. Huckabee, well, thankfully, only thirty percent of Republicans fall into the nutty Evangelical variety, and his recent statements will be appealing to them, but abhorred by most Americans, who by a huge majority, approve of abortion, and separation of church and state. Besides, who wants to look at Gomer Pile, representing America, and get a Baptist holy roller lecture, non stop, for eight years. He's a letch, and it is obvious to many, he's far from trustworthy.

Obama, and Edwards, are repeating their rhetoric, over and over, and it's going to get older and older, and next to Hillary's specific plans, and determination to keep the subject on the methods she will use to pull this country out of the quagmire Bush has put us into, I believe, that as time goes by, and circumstances worsen, as they surely will over the next year, her policies will become more and more appealing to the masses. Clinton, after all, did leave the country with a balanced budget, and a surplus, and few believe that Hillary wasn't closely involved in his presidency, in fact, until she launched her campaign, Republicans were forever accusing her of just that. They've reversed that rhetoric, now. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Gayle in Md.

01-17-2008, 10:27 PM
What have the Clintons done for the Blacks?

01-18-2008, 04:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> I think this is a real commentary to just how afraid Rove is of Hillary Clinton. The Repubs worst nightmare is their candidate, having to spar in the National Debate, with a genius like Hillary Clinton. Obama has already shown that he is 90% rhetoric, 10 % meat.

/ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif<hr /></blockquote>

Hillary would be the DNC's greatest gift since George McGovern.