As soon as Karl Rove’s departure from the White House was announced this morning, there was no shortage of talking heads to appear on TV to lavish praise on him. On Fox News, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card called Rove “a superstar,” CBS White House Correspondent Bill Plante described him as “the mastermind behind everything,” and on MSNBC, Chris Matthews declared “generally, where there’s brains, there’s Rove.”
While Rove is undoubtedly a skilled campaign tactician, the hyperbolic image of him as a political genius overlooks his record of bungled political predictions, a series of policy failures and the damage he has wrought on America’s political system.
ThinkProgress has put together a highlights reel of the breathless adoration for Rove. Watch it:
Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan argues, “Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war – and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency.”
Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin adds, “After years of being lauded as a political genius, Rove nevertheless leaves his party in worse shape than he found it, with his boss profoundly discredited in the eyes of the American people.”
UPDATE: Huffington Post has video of the Boy Genius’s tearful goodbye from this morning.