By Karl Rove, ,
Published May 07, 2015
It'd be nice if President Obama had a record to defend. But he doesn't, and I've gotten over it.
In a rare moment of senior-presidential-adviser-to-senior-presidential-adviser telepathy, I overheard the private thoughts of David Axelrod as he prepared to appear on television Tuesday night, following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address:
Well, this is about as pleasant as a dentist appointment. Sure hope we're right that no matter what the question is, all I need to say is, "President Obama believes everyone should get a fair shot, everyone should do their fair share, and everyone should play by the same set of rules." Say it loud, say it proud, say it again and again.
Speaking of which, I love that line about "asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary." Sure, the top 10% pay 70% of federal income taxes, so billionaires already pay more taxes than their secretaries, and no one's really for doubling capital gains taxes. But it sounds so good, and stokes so much anger toward the rich.
I did enjoy how Barack went after Congress. A couple of times it looked like he was going to turn around and slap Boehner for obstructing his agenda. Hope it helps voters forget we Democrats controlled both chambers for two years and got pretty much everything we wanted. Now we have to pretend it never happened.
But do I really have to appear on Chris Matthews again? He's always interrupting me with "It's true" or "I agree." Good lord, he even calls me Barack's "much beloved senior strategist" and says that Obama has "done great things, he's put points on the board." Valerie loves that stuff—soaks it up—but it's too much for me. On the other hand, we have to fire up our true believers—and what better place than on Matthews?
Matthews toadies too much, but Candy Crowley challenges me more than I want—like pointing out that there are 1.7 million fewer jobs since Barack took over and dropping that CNN poll on me that says Romney leads by 13 points on who can best get the economy moving again.
Aw, the Mittster: I know we're not supposed to want him, but truth is I'd like to go after him for being so successful in business. Thank goodness Newt and Perry did the spadework on Bain. What did a New York Times reporter call Newt? Our "useful surrogate"?
Karl Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. He is a Fox News contributor and author of "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions, 2010). To continue reading his column in The Wall Street Journal, click here.