Anybody got it on tape?
As usual these days, I’m finding out stuff on Twitter, which is alternatively funny and frustrating.
Today is both, as I am a latecomer to the absolutely stunning news that Karl Rove stepped in it.
Or is alleged to have stepped in it.
Or he actually did step in it, but what he’s alleged to have stepped in is up to debate.
Mollie Reilly, Huffington Post: Karl Rove Suggests Hillary Clinton May Have Brain Damage—
It’s only 2014, but the 2016 presidential race has already taken an ugly turn.
According to the New York Post’s Page Six, Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have sustained brain damage after suffering a blood clot in her skull.
Clinton was admitted to the hospital in late December 2012, where doctors discovered a blood clot related to a concussion she had suffered earlier in the month. She was released from the hospital several days later.
Rove, however, apparently thinks her stint in the hospital left some questions unanswered.
“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said, according to Page Six. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”
Clinton’s doctors, however, debunked Rove’s theory long ago. Prior to her release from the hospital in January 2013, Clinton’s physicians at a New York hospital said the clot did not cause Clinton to suffer a stroke, and did not result in any neurological damage.
“Please assure Dr. Rove she’s 100 percent,” a Clinton representative told the Post’s Emily Smith.
I love the headline, don’t you?
It doesn’t actually say he said it. And it doesn’t say he implies it. There’s no quote saying “I would suggest that a lingering brain injury might explain Mrs. Clinton’s irrational response to the administration’s screwup of Benghazi.”
Very suggestive title. Very effective.
But look at what he’s actually quoted as saying: “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”
Whatever else he may have been factually incorrect about (30 days, for instance), he very clearly is referring to a past event.
Even the “brain damage” part.
Did he do this on purpose?
Former White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace, who worked with Rove in the George W. Bush administration, called Rove’s comments “off the wall.”
“I worked with Karl for a long time. This was a deliberate strategy on his part to raise her health as an issue and, I think in his view, a legitimate line of questioning ahead of the next campaign,” Wallace said on MSNBC Tuesday.
Of course she disapproves:
She added that Rove’s “attack seemed out of place, out of time and some of the basic facts seemed to be wrong.”
Let me think through this a moment.
I’ve noticed something over the years.
People will often make 2- or 3-part remarks and someone else will infer from those remarks something the person didn’t actually say.
Then the inference is “quoted” in rumors or press accounts, which are then passed on as Received Truth.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to debunk such “quotes” over time. Sometimes to my fellow conservatives in defense of Obama or Biden or someone else (I am a bipartisan debunker because, like you, dear reader, I believe in fairness).
So I’d like a tape of Rove’s remarks.
‘Cause if he didn’t say it, people shouldn’t be saying he said it.
If he didn’t say it, but he knew folks would infer it anyway…
They’ve been trolled.
Which, based on my Twitter feed, is exactly what has happened.
Now there is no way Mrs./Senator/Secretary Clinton will ever get the conversation far away from questions about her health.
Because the seed has been planted.
With a lot of help from her many friends in the press.
Picture Credits: Smirking Karl Rove picture by AP. Screaming Hilary Clinton by Someone I Can’t Remember