Hillary’s Brain: A New Classic of American Sleazance Fiction from Karl Rove

Steve Benen thinks that Karl Rove’s drive-by shot at Hillary Clinton has failed:

If Karl Rove hoped to generate some chatter with his cheap shot at Hillary Clinton last week, he succeeded — the political world has now been chewing on the “brain damage” story for nearly a week. But by all appearances, Rove has started a conversation that’s focused more on his propensity for sleazy tactics than the former Secretary of State’s health.

….Nearly all the major Sunday shows discussed Rove’s latest salvo, but the focus was on Rove, not Clinton and her 2012 illness. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) blasted Rove for “struggling to be relevant.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) dismissed Rove’s rhetoric as “stupid” and “pathetic.” Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) called Rove’s offensive “outrageous.”

Karl Rove wanted to manufacture a story about Hillary Clinton. He instead created a story about Karl Rove.

I disagree. The press has been talking about Rove’s sleazy tactics for more than a decade. Rove is used to that and obviously doesn’t care. There’s just nothing new on that front, and even if this did somehow damage Rove, it wouldn’t have any effect on the Republicans actually running against Hillary in 2016.

But there’s not much question that Rove has generated a lot of buzz about Hillary’s health. By itself, this isn’t a big deal, but as part of the nonstop mudslinging that Hillary will have to endure for the next couple of years, it’s perfect. Every one of these incidents will be designed to sow a small seed of doubt, and eventually one or two of these seeds might catch on and blossom into an acorn. And from tiny acorns, mighty oaks sometime grow. Mission accomplished!


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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