THE BOOK ON KARL ROVE….I don’t like to link to stories that are available only to subscribers, but Josh Green’s Atlantic piece about Karl Rove is finally available online for free. Read it. Now.
The most repellent anecdote is toward the end. It concerns Mark Kennedy, a Democratic judge in Alabama who went up against Rove in 1994:
Kennedy had spent years on the bench as a juvenile and family-court judge, during which time he had developed a strong interest in aiding abused children….At the time of the race he had just served a term as president of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect. One of Rove’s signature tactics is to attack an opponent on the very front that seems unassailable. Kennedy was no exception.
Some of Kennedy’s campaign commercials touted his volunteer work, including one that showed him holding hands with children. “We were trying to counter the positives from that ad,” a former Rove staffer told me, explaining that some within the See camp initiated a whisper campaign that Kennedy was a pedophile. “It was our standard practice to use the University of Alabama Law School to disseminate whisper-campaign information,” the staffer went on….”What Rove does,” says Joe Perkins, “is try to make something so bad for a family that the candidate will not subject the family to the hardship. Mark is not your typical Alabama macho, beer-drinkin’, tobacco-chewin’, pickup-drivin’ kind of guy. He is a small, well-groomed, well-educated family man, and what they tried to do was make him look like a homosexual pedophile. That was really, really hard to take.”
Now, what was that again about Mary Cheney?