Karl Rove advising McCain campaign
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For several weeks, a variety of political observers, most notably ThinkProgressâ€™ Amanda Terkel and Matt Corley, have highlighted Karl Roveâ€™s connections to John McCainâ€™s campaign. And for several weeks, Bushâ€™s former chief strategist â€” the man the president affectionately calls â€œTurd Blossomâ€ â€” has been arguing that there really isnâ€™t a relationship.
Just a couple of weeks ago, George Stephanopoulos identified Rove as an â€œinformal adviserâ€ to McCain before an ABC News interview. Rove denied it, and when Stephanopoulos suggested that Rove offers the McCain camp advice and information, Rove would only concede to â€œchit chatâ€ with the Republican presidential campaign.
Not surprisingly, there appears to be a little more to the relationship. Peter Stone writes in National Journal:
â€œGenerally speaking, Roveâ€™s advice [for McCain] is action-oriented and useful,â€ said another senior consultant to the McCain camp. â€œItâ€™s always well received.â€ This McCain adviser noted that Rove talks periodically to [McCainâ€™s chief political strategist, Charlie Black] and a few other top campaign aides on several key matters.
â€œIt can be policy ideas, messaging ideas, fundraising prospects, or people who need calls from someone in the campaign.â€ Rove is â€œpart of the information network that the campaign has,â€ this adviser said, adding that Rove talks fairly regularly to such key people as Wayne Berman, a major fundraiser for McCain; Nicolle Wallace, a communications adviser; and Steve Schmidt, a senior aide.
This isnâ€™t necessarily a surprise, but itâ€™s interesting for a few reasons.