On Wednesday, the Susan B. Anthony List held a luncheon to launch their Presidential Battleground Get Out the Women’s Vote Campaign. SBA List is a premiere women’s group working on behalf of the pro-life issue nationwide. Guest speaker Karl Rove was in his element, talking history, poll numbers and presidential politics — with the elections less than two weeks away.
You almost expected him to roll up his sleeves and hoist the now-famous white dry-erase board he scribbles on as a Fox News contributor. Rove was his warm, humorous best, speaking in realistic terms about what Republicans face on November 4th. The banquet room was full of people looking to Rove for his keen insight and perhaps some good news. Rove said, “I can’t give you any good news but the news that there is: we’ve got a chance. The reason we have a chance is the consistent deep concern on the part of the American people about whether or not Barack Obama is qualified and experienced enough to be President of the United States.”
He went on from there, giving perspective on the historical progression of polling in the race on Obama’s “unqualifieds” — the percentage of people who do not think that Obama is qualified to be president. Rove said, “The only person who has had higher unqualified numbers at this point of his [presidential] campaign was Michael Dukakis in October of 1988. I’m not going to suggest that McCain-Palin is going to take 40 states like the first Bush did in 1988, but it is a sign of difficulty.”
Rove continued, “They’ve [McCain-Palin] got the last 13 days to make the case to the American people that the doubts they have about this smart, ambitious, charming, charismatic young guy — the doubts they have are real. He’s not ready for the job. … Democrats are desperately trying to create the sense that this is over, it’s done. Everybody else has made your decision for you, but I don’t think that’s the case. People are paying too much attention to this race, and they’re giving one last hard look at this guy.”
“I don’t know about you but my citizenship is one of the most prized possessions I have, Rove said in wrapping up the Q&A dominated by voter fraud and ACORN. “At the heart of it is the right of every American to have a vote. People have died for that, people have marched for that. It diminishes the value of the vote when we allow people to do what they’re doing in too many places around the country and that is registering and voting illegally.”
Always a man headed somewhere in a hurry, I caught up to Rove for some quick questions on the way to the valet park.
On Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner Rove said, “I’m concerned that in Ohio you have a third of the new registrations in the state being labeled as suspicious by the local collection authorities. It provides an awful lot of opportunity for abuse.”
I asked if he thought the Attorney General Michael Mukasey would take action at the urging of John Boehner and the rest of the GOP Congressional delegation. “The Attorney General has shown himself not to be deeply concerned about these kinds of problems before,” Rove said.
I asked if he agreed with Joe Biden’s statements over the weekend on Obama’s election inviting an international crisis. Rove said, “It’s one of the rare instances where I agree with his sentiment on foreign policy. I think he spoke accurately if somewhat impolitic. The enemy’s watching and they probably said that if they want it, if they get the White House, maybe we’ll just give them that test.”
When asked what he thinks Sarah Palin brings to this election, Rove said, “I think she’s been a net big plus to the ticket. She has enthused a lot of people. She’s drawn in to the campaign and opened the ears of a lot of people who might not otherwise give a McCain ticket a second hearing. She’s done a lot to energize people and get ‘em involved.”