Yesterday, as a flummoxed GOP decided how to solve a problem like its newly-elected Senate nominee, Christine O'Donnell, Karl Rove shot pretty straight: "It does conservatives little good to support candidates who at the end of the day -- while they may be conservative in their public statements -- do not evince the characteristics of rectitude, truthfulness and sincerity of character that the voters are looking for." Also, the lady is bonkers, right Karl? "I mean," Rove added, "there were a lot of nutty things she has been saying that just simply don't add up."
Flash forward to this morning, and Rove has added to his critique by saying that he "endorses" O'Donnell. Wait! What?
That's right. Rove's walking it on back, after practically being browbeaten into doing so by Fox News's Martha MacCallum -- who framed the conversation on the premise that Rove's criticism of O'Donnell will be the thing that costs the GOP the chance to regain its Senate majority, as opposed to O'Donnell being the nominee in the first place.
MACCALLUM: I don't have to tell you, a lot of folks have been screaming and yelling and saying that your comments, and your not backing her could cost the majority in the Senate. And what they want is to be sure they get that majority, and they're afraid that you're shooting them in the tent.
ROVE: Martha, Martha, my job as a Fox analyst is to give the best insights. She's eleven points behind in the Rassmussen poll behind the Democrat nominee Coons. So my job as a Fox analyst is to call it as I see it. My job is not to be a cheerleader for every Republican. It's to call it as I see it. Now, I've got a different role outside my Fox role, and that's where I'm helping to raise $50 million to help elect Republicans to the Senate. But when I come on Fox, you and your viewers expect me to shoot straight with you and that's what I was doing that night. And with all due respect, she's eleven points down -- that's not out of the game, but she's got to make up ground and make up ground quickly.
Leaving aside when and where Rove waggles his pom-poms, it's interesting to note that even as he insists that he has a job to shoot straight, he's not shooting straight here! Today, O'Donnell's problem is that she's eleven points down in the Rasmussen polls. But why is she down? Because she's straight nuts! Yesterday, Rove could admit that; today, O'Donnell's problems are just the vagaries of polls.
Rove insisted, "I endorsed her the other night, I said I'm for the Republican in each and every case!" So, that includes the cases where the candidate is "nutty" and lacking in "rectitude, truthfulness and sincerity of character." (Actually, that is basically what we're used to.)