Karl Rove Watch: From Suicidal to `Merely Despondent’

Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Karl Rove at the Republican National Convention.

Karl Rove is back on the rubber-chicken circuit — or in this case, we presume, the charred beef path — speaking in Wichita Wednesday night at the Kansas Livestock Association’s annual convention.

And for those concerned about his state of mind following his much-publicized (and ridiculed) on-camera hissy-fit as Fox News joined others in calling Ohio for President Barack Obama on Election Night, it appears the venerable Republican strategist is bouncing back.

According to a couple of local news accounts, Rove joked to his listeners that he’s no longer suicidal in the wake of Obama’s re-election. “Merely despondent,” he said.

The shepherd of former President George W. Bush’s political successes, Rove quickly was tagged as one of this election year’s biggest losers, given the bottom line after two political outfits he helped create — American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies — raised more than $300 million to tout the Republican cause. Along with the loss to Obama of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 10 of the 12 Senate candidates backed by the Rove groups flamed out.

Referring to his fundraising efforts, Rove indulged in a little blues-singing in his Wichita remarks.

`This is the worst volunteer job I’ve had in my life,” he told his listeners. The reason? Intra-party squabbling among Republicans that soured their general-election chances.

“I got sick and tired of spending money in races where the moderate and conservative had gone at each other and made victory impossible,” he said.

Calling for his party’s factions to adopt a more pragmatic, unified political posture, Rove also conceded: “Easier said than done.”

One of the Rove groups continues to butt heads with the Federal Election Commission over donor disclosure rules, as Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux details in this post.



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