Watch for Rovian Tactics

It must have been a slow news day for Arena, but I thought this question was worth answering. Of course, both campaigns will be watching each other like hawks, hoping for gaffes to drop and then making much of them. But you have to admit Karl Rove is the grandmaster of whipping up attacks, whether the information transmitted is true or not.

Could we have a conversation about how to engage voters so they don’t a) get sidetracked from the big issues or b) become cynical and tune out all the noise?

Politico Arena asks:

The Karl Rove-founded Republican group American Crossroads has issued an apology today just hours after suggesting in a tweet that Commerce Secretary John Bryson was drunk when he got into a car accident this weekend.

“How does @CommerceSec have 3 car crashes in 5 minutes and alcohol NOT be involved? ?#Skills,”  the group tweeted early this morning.

“Earlier Bryson tweet with hashtag ?#skills? attempted levity (before facts known) and failed miserably. We took it down and regret the tweet,” the group said on Twitter shortly after 10 a.m.

Were critics of President Obama too hasty in their judgment of Bryson’s accident? What lessons does this incident offer about Twitter?

My Response:

The offending American Crossroads tweet, brought to you by Karl Rove, is important only as a warning of the constancy of their opposition research, the speed with which they are equipped to inflame any issue (remember how effectively they trashed the Democrats for pouring their grief over MN Senator Paul Wellstone’s tragic death before the funeral was over?), and the absolute ruthlessness with which they will steamroll anyone who stands in their way.

The Democrats had better be ready to pre-empt or respond even faster, and the voting public had better be ready to question it all. I highly recommend Bill Israel’s book, “A Nation Seized” for an insider look at Rove’s MO as preparation. Find information at

GLORIA FELDT is the bestselling author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the honors she has been given, Vanity Fair named her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” she was named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year,” a She Knows Media Inspiring Woman, and a Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st century.

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, she has created the most comprehensive initiative to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. The women’s leadership nonprofit offers a variety of training programs and workshops including the 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

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