Karl Rove, pure as the driven snow

KARL ROVE, PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW…. Republicans sent a curious fundraising letter yesterday, insisting that there’s a “double standard” that warrants attention. I’m pretty sure that’s backwards. From the emailed appeal:

The latest revelation that Messina offered Andrew Romanoff several federal positions in exchange for not running against appointed Senator Michael Bennet in Colorado comes on the heels of a similar offer that was made to Joe Sestak in order to help party-changer Arlen Specter’s reelection bid in Pennsylvania.

It’s ironic that Jim Messina currently holds the exact same job that Karl Rove once held in the White House. Can you imagine what then-Senators Obama and Clinton, along with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, would say if this had taken place under Karl Rove?

Actually, yes, I can imagine it.

In fact, Karl Rove personally intervened with then-Sen. Bob Smith (R) during his 2002 primary, intervention that reportedly included a job offer.

Rove’s office also reportedly approached Rep. Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.) about a job in 2003 in the hopes of convincing him not to run for re-election.

And Rove also reportedly reached out to Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) with a job offer in the hopes he’d drop out of his re-election bid.

What did Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, and Reid have to say about this? Nothing. No one cared. White House efforts in various campaigns are as old as the Republic, and it never occurred to anyone to make a fuss.

And just as an aside, it’s not my place to tell Republicans how to make their fundraising appeals, but holding Karl Rove out as an example of an official who didn’t play electoral hardball is truly ridiculous.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.