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Rove: Obama Took The Bait

This Lisa DePaulo interview with Karl Rove is full of good stuff. I thought this was especially interesting:  

What do you make of this whole thing where Hillary was talking him up as a vice president and he came back saying, "Wait a minute, I'm winning—why are you asking me to be your number two?"
Very calculating on the part of the Clintons, and a mistake for him on his part.

Because they wanted him to get down to their level. They want him to look like, you know, not the golden inspiring figure but instead, you know, like an average ordinary pol who's got three years in the United States Senate. So they lay it out there. And rather than having it be dismissed by a surrogate, instead he goes out there! And rather than having an inspiring, forward-looking message, instead he's out there as an ordinary pol saying, "Hey, I'm number one, I'm in first place! I won more states than she did. I won more delegates than she did. What the hell's she doing offering it to me? That's insulting." And he did it in an arrogant way that I don't think made him look that good.

So you don't think his response played well?
No. Take a look at the footage. Turn the sound off and look at it. You can tell that he is arrogant, and you can tell that he's a little bit angry, and you can tell he's very dismissive. He takes his hands and he sort of, you know, waves his hand like, "I'm dismissing something." That was the moment to say, you know, "Look, I know what my opponents are saying, but you know what? I'm focused on one thing and one thing only, which is to help bring Republicans and Democrats and independents together to move America forward." Instead of "Hey, lemme just remind you, I'm winning! I'm beatin' her!"

So he took the bait?
He took the bait.

If you read the whole interview, you get the impression Rove is pretty down on Obama, and actually somewhat sympathetic to Hillary. Though he doesn't explicitly say why.

Update: For what it's worth, I thought Hillary's VP stunt looked pretty tacky. But, now that I read Rove, I see how it could have played differently among certain demographics.

Update 2: Isaac doesn't buy the "bringing him down to their level" analysis--he says it's overthinking things. I agree that forcing Obama to be a conventional pol probably wasn't the goal. But I suspect they were trying to get under his skin a bit, in addition to hinting that he'd make a better number two than a president.

--Noam Scheiber