Daiblog A Fair and Balanced daily discussion of Democratic politics, ideas, strategy, and news
Monday, August 18, 2003
Karl Rove's Playbook
I am currently reading Timothy Crouse's "The Boys on the Bus," which is about the reporters assigned to the various candidates for President in the 1972 election. Karl Rove assigned chapters of this book to his class at the University of Texas, and now I see why:
Richard Nixon learned a lot about the press from the 1968 campaign, far more than the press learned about him. He learned that the press was still on the defensive because of '60 and '62. He found out how to undermine reporters in subtle ways. He discovered that he could be an effective performer on TV, and that he could use television to get around the press. The main lesson he took from the campaign was that he could isolate himself from the press with no dire consequences to his political well-being; he could refuse to come to terms with the major issue of the day [the Vietnam War] for nine straight months without risking a mutiny from the press. As President, he lived by this lesson. (p. 189).