"Thirty days in the hospital?" asked Karl Rove in response to the 2012 incident that sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the hospital. "And when she reappears, she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what's up with that."
("Rove Criticized for Clinton 'Brain Injury' Suggestion." CNN. May 14, 2014)
Rove, Republican political consultant and policy advisor, defended his comments on the Fox News Channel, saying that it's legitimate to ask about a potential presidential candidate's health.
"No, no. I didn't say she had brain damage, she had a serious health episode and my point was that I think it was from the 7th of December in 2012 through the 7th of January of 2013, she underwent, first she had apparently a serious virus. They announced then on the 15th of December that she had at some period in the past week fallen. They didn't say when, they didn't say where. She was recovering at home. On the 30th of December she goes in and turns out to have had a blood clot. They won't say where. The next day they say it is between her skull and her brain behind her right ear. She is in the hospital for four days. She goes home, is back in the office on the 7th and testifies on the 25th wearing special glasses that allow her to deal with the double vision that this episode caused," Rove said.
Why Attack Hillary Clinton?
The reason is clear: Clinton is the frontrunner for the Democrat nominee to run for President of the United States. In addition, she is the favorite to succeed Barack Obama as the 45th leader of the free world.
Karl Rove is playing the dirty, proactive "Smear Game" in a hideous attempt to discredit the life of one of the most accomplished women in history -- Hillary Clinton. In his politicized attack, Rove is using a deliberate strategy in an attempt to undermine her record as a former senator, first lady and Secretary of State.
Rove doesn't even have his facts right. In fact, Hillary Clinton was in the hospital for only three days. She later returned to the hospital for tests, but only stayed for a brief time, The Associated Press reported.
In addition, the glasses Rove reportedly referred to are typically used by people with traumatic brain injuries -- but that's a broad category that includes concussions. It's already well known that Clinton suffered one. Simply put, Rove is both dumb and deceptively nasty.
While she mulls her decision to run for Presicent, Rove, and the rest of the GOP and pro-Republican outside groups have stepped up their attacks on Clinton, on everything from the Benghazi incident to the 1990s Monica Lewinsky scandal. This is one of a multitude of things that has happened the last month as Republicans try to figure out how to undermine her out of the race.
Karl Rove's comments are indicative of the worst tactics in an ugly political culture. Let's examine why:
(1) Rove has no access to Mrs. Clinton’s medical records.
(2) Rove is, at the very least, "suggesting" Clinton has brain damage and inferring she is incompetent.
(3) Rove is, at the very least, using his comments to convince the public that Clinton is "faking it" and involved in some coverup that "They" (Clinton's party) has committed.
(4) Hillary Clinton isn’t yet a candidate, and the 2016 race is in its infancy.
(5) All presidential candidates face pressure to fully release medical and tax records – and they generally comply. Hillary Clinton will likely release these records at the appropriate time if she does decide to run.
(6) The insensitivity of Rove's remarks reveal that he is simply inhumane.
The 2012 incident was not the first time Clinton dealt with blood clots. She told the New York Daily News in 2007 that while campaigning for Senator Chuck Schumer in 1998 she suffered a large blood clot behind her right knee and had to be rushed to Bethesda Naval Hospital outside Washington, D.C.
Rove has always been a "problem child" for the GOP. He was first investigated by the Republican National Committee in 1973 for allegedly teaching seminars on dirty tricks to college Republicans (he was cleared of wrongdoings).
Two decades later, Rove served as a top strategist to George W. Bush’s gubernatorial campaign against then-Gov. Ann Richards (D-TX). According to news reports, a whisper campaign (damaging rumors or innuendo) about the divorced Richards’ sexual orientation was used in conservative East Texas to weaken her support. George W. Bush biographer Louis Dubose wrote: “No one ever traced the character assassination to Rove. Yet no one doubts that Rove was behind it.”
Mark Kennedy, incumbent Democratic justice, defeated Republican Harold See, who was backed by Karl Rove in an epic Supreme Court race in Alabama in 1994. Kennedy was the target of a vicious smear campaign that Rove orchestrated. The tactics involved a whisper campaign contending that Kennedy was a pedophile. Some of Kennedy's campaign commercials touted his volunteer work, including one that showed him holding hands with children. "We were trying to counter the positives from that ad," a former Rove staffer admits.
"What Rove does," says the staffer, "is try to make something so bad for a family that the candidate will not subject the family to the hardship. Mark is not your typical Alabama macho, beer-drinkin', tobacco-chewin', pickup-drivin' kind of guy. He is a small, well-groomed, well-educated family man, and what they tried to do was make him look like a homosexual pedophile. That was really, really hard to take."
(Joshua Green. "The Man Karl Rove Couldn't Beat." The Atlantic. May 13 2011)
And ahead of the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary, Rove used a push poll (in which little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data) to suggest Bush rival John McCain had fathered "an illegitimate black child." Also, Rove was widely believed to be connected to rumors that McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam had left him mentally unbalanced.
And Rove wants to use age as an issue? Perhaps the GOP should remember the questions about the age and competency of President Ronald Reagan. If their memory is long enough, they could see Reagan deftly deflected inquiries with humor. (“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,” he cracked at a 1984 debate with Walter Mondale.)
Even former House Speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said he was “totally opposed and deeply offended by” Rove’s remarks. “I have many policy disagreements with Hillary,” Gingrich said, “but this kind of personal charge is exactly what's wrong with American politics.”
I don't mind political inquiry based on facts and important discoveries; however ad hominem tactics are not only deceptive but also juvenile. I am sure Rove would not admit to being sexist, but consider the wisdom of my favorite TV justice Judge Judy when she asks, "Lie to me once and now you expect me to believe you?"
Karl Rove is a pathetic "hit man" for his party. He cares nothing about the reputation of accomplished American public servants. He belittles them. All he wants is his moment of vindictive, party publicity in an attempt to cloak his own shortcomings. The GOP would do well to throttle Rove's ignorant commentary if they expect to mount any significant campaign for their own candidate for President. Can they spell "d-i-s-a-s-s-o-c-i-a-t-e"?