Last night on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes, Karl Rove argued that President-Elect Barack Obama ran a “center-right” campaign, but that if you “dig in” you can uncover the radical socialist that the right-wing warned the country about during the campaign:
ROVE: Let’s make it clear: He ran a center-right campaign. He said —
COLMES: Center-right? He was accused of being a radical socialist.
ROVE: Well, if you dug in.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Rove argued similarly that Obama ran a center-right campaign that fooled a center-right electorate into supporting him:
It is a tribute to his skills that Mr. Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, won in a country that remains center-right.
Despite Rove’s claims, Americans were not somehow hoodwinked by the Obama campaign; they knew Obama was a progressive — and they supported him for it. In fact, internal McCain polling showed that a vast majority of Americans knew exactly what Obama’s agenda was, as Mark Salter told Politico:
Our polling showed that more than 60 percent of voters identified Obama as a liberal. Typically, a candidate is not going to win the presidency with those figures. But I think the country just disregarded it. People didn’t care. They just wanted the biggest change they could get.
Indeed, Obama and other progressive candidates were elected this week not in spite of their progressive stances on key policy issues, but because of them. As The Progress Report observed yesterday, “Obama ran on the most progressive platform of any presidential candidate in at least 15 years, including a promise of universal health care coverage, a dramatic transformation to a low-carbon economy, and a historic investment in education.”
UPDATE: Fox News’s Brit Hume, speaking with Laura Ingraham today, repeated the claim that Tuesday’s vote actually proved America is still a “center-right” country. He claimed that Obama didn’t “break the lock” that Republicans have had on the presidency but merely “picked the lock.” Listen here: