In his latest Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove drudges out the old 2008 campaign attack on President Obama’s “present” votes as a state senator in Illinois, and wittily remarks that Obama “may now be president, but at times he appears to be merely present” in dealing with BP’s oil spill.
On Fox News last night, Rove discussed the column and advised Obama to get ideas from academics around the country on dealing with the oil disaster:
ROVE: So why has he not met with industry experts to say, Explain to me what we ought to be doing? And if he doesn’t want to meet with people in the oil industry, then you — there are plenty of very smart petroleum engineering professors in America’s great colleges and universities he could meet with. […]
I’d get the smartest engineering minds in the petroleum and — and — petroleum engineering departments of major universities to come in and brief him. Maybe there are some other ideas that BP has not done that might be usable.
Yet later in the segment, Rove criticized Obama for having academics surround him in the White House:
ROVE: He lacks the experience to make executive decisions. His policies have turned out to be very, very liberal. And he’s populated his administration with people just like him, eggheads from academia who have no practical working knowledge of how the American economy works or what ordinary families face in their daily lives, and the disconnect simply is growing.
To recap: It’s both good and bad to be listening to experts and academics, depending on what your political attack on Obama is at the moment.
There’s also a hint of irony in Rove’s attack. Did he have any “practical working knowledge of how the American economy works” before he went to work in the Bush White House?