POLITICS
04/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rove Offers Obama Some Dubious Advice

On last night's On The Record with Great Van Susteren, Fox News commentator Karl Rove stopped by to weigh in on all things Democratic Primary, including the state of the race in Florida and Michigan. Along the way, Rove had what he believed was a bit of great political advice for Democratic contender Barack Obama. Van Susteren was so taken away with its brilliance that she suggested that "this is the segment that Senator Obama needs to TiVo." Really? Well, let's see what Bush's big brain had to say:

VAN SUSTEREN: What would be the most effective strategy for Senator Clinton and Senator Obama in dealing with Dean since he obviously -- you know, he holds the money on this?

ROVE: Well, for Senator Clinton, it is to say every state needs to be included and every state's vote needs to be respected. I actually think Senator Obama has the capacity to resolve this situation in a way that gives him a big advantage, but it would have to be a gutsy call.

And that is, at some point, probably in June, after the delegates have all been elected, we have our final caucus -- I mean our final primary in Puerto Rico, it would be a gutsy call if Senator Obama stepped forward and said, I want to seat Florida and I want to seat Michigan. I know they did the wrong thing, but we did the wrong -- but we should not compound our error by not seating them. Seat the entire delegations.

Now, if he is ahead by 100 to 150 votes at that point, by my calculations, she picks up 54 delegates on him if these two delegations are seated, and it -- but it is a gutsy call. And he -- you know, if he is 150 ahead, he suddenly becomes 100 ahead. If he is 100 ahead, he suddenly becomes 50 ahead.

But I think it gives him -- it makes him look like a leader. It resolves the situation. It helps him in the fall in these two states. And it probably gets a lot of the superdelegates to step forward and say, that was a courageous move, and I am going to support him as a result of him doing this.

VAN SUSTEREN: One -- yes or no, do you expect him to do that?

ROVE: No, I do not, but it is a gutsy call.

Well, I certainly hope Senator Obama did not, in fact, trouble his poor TiVo with that. In the first place, the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates is not a matter that Obama is in position to authorize. Rove knows this: he goes to great length in his remarks prior to this exchange noting that the decision lies entirely with the DNC's credentials committee and that DNC chair Howard Dean has "signaled clearly by picking 25 loyalists, and they are clearly Dean loyalists, that he intends to have a majority of this committee that will back him up on what he decides on Florida and Michigan."

Still, this "advice" to Obama provides an alluring window into Rove's teeming mind. Let's get it straight. Rove believes that, at some point after the primaries have all concluded and the delegate count is wide enough for Obama that he will not be harmed by the decision, the Illinois Senator - after months of insisting that he is only "playing by the rules" where Florida and Michigan are concerned - should throw mud in Howard Dean's eye and insist the delegations be seated in abrogation of these same rules, and act as if he's made some huge self-sacrifice in the name of democracy. This is "gutsy?" Hardly. "Gutsy" might be insisting that these delegations get seated now, but it would still be understandably foolhardy since Obama's name didn't even appear on the Michigan ballot. Rove's advice doesn't seem at all courageous, rather, it strikes me as being brazenly insincere.

Only Karl Rove could chart such a cynical, grasping course for a politician and declare that it looks like "leadership." But what can I say? The end result of all the sage advice he gave the Bush administration was to plunge the nation into multiple catastrophes, earn his charge some historically low approval ratings, and lose both houses of Congress in one fell Election Night swoop. And this was the advice for which the GOP paid top-dollar, so I think you'd have to be extremely wary of the suggestions he gives away for free.