As if on cue, Karl Rove reared his head on Groundhogs’ Day, saw his shadow and predicted “Lots of surprises lie ahead…” (sinister laugh here, eventually drowned out by the sound of Rove stuffing his cheeks with walnuts)
From an op-ed piece in “Newsweek”
“…Maybe we are not seeing the crackup of the GOP. Rather, America is more likely to be at the start of an intense and exciting election. The contest will be hard fought, the actions of the candidates each day hugely significant. It's far too early to draw sweeping conclusions about the health of either party; the presidential race, after all, has barely begun. Lots of surprises lie ahead…”
This is not the first time Rove emerged on Groundhogs’ Day to make a campaign prediction while evoking an undercurrent of fear. I captured the Rovian Groundhog experience on my debut blog, “Witsend Here” in 2006:
The Satiric Press – On Friday, D.C. Karl emerged from his burrow where he’d been hibernating for the past few months, saw his shadow, and predicted 10 more months of fear for the remainder of the political campaign season. Karl Rove, White House Chief of Staff and the President’s top political advisor, made his prediction in front of a prescreened audience of loyal Republican followers. “The United States faces a ruthless enemy," Rove said, "and national security will be the preeminent issue of this years’ campaign.”
The last time D.C. Karl saw his shadow and predicted 10 more months of fear was in 2004, and as it turned out, Karl was right. The unprecedented campaign of fear in 2004 helped President Bush win his reelection bid. While both predictions hinged on the fear of terrorism, the 2004 prediction took a two-pronged fear forecast by throwing homophobia into the mix by way of gay marriage.
There was no doubt as to whether D.C. Karl saw his shadow, for it eclipsed the entire Washington, D.C., area and eastern portions of Virginia. According to Jan Jorgensen, an astronomy professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, “I was in the laboratory making my daily calculations when the sky unexpectedly blackened. I thought for sure we had experienced a partial eclipse of the sun. It wasn’t until later in the day that I heard on the news that it was D.C. Karl’s shadow. Then it all made sense.” Startled by the ominous girth of his own shadow, D.C. Karl was reported to have fled his inaugural speaking engagement (see photo) before he could fully outline his fear forecast.
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