To amplify (at great length, over the course of probably three full blog entries; stay tuned for the other two) on what the Prowler wrote below about Karl Rove, I was at the AEI speech earlier this morning, and can confirm that Rove is in fighting trim, that he is engaged and focused and upbeat. The simple truth is that Karl Rove is one of the best communicators at the White House. The White House should get him out there more often, both for the president’s sake (because Rove does an excellent job conveying the president’s message) and for his own sake, because the more he is out there, the more that Americans can see for themselves that he is not the ogre that the mainstream media paints him as. The caricature of him is so unfair as to be obscene. Instead, if Americans see and hear him more often, it will probably redound to Bush’s benefit, because they will see that Bush’s most famous aide is competent and smart and thoughtful and reasonable, etc., all of which makes not just Rove but the president also look good.
Not only was Rove’s speech, on economic policy and the Bush economic successes, clear and effective, but his command not just of issues but of useful facts and figures — exact numbers, etc., off the top of his head — was/is superb. It was superb not just because he showed that he knows his stuff, but because he showed he knows how to use the facts to clarify his case. Some policy wonks start spouting statistics and put you to sleep, because they don’t know how to relate numbers and facts to their point; they don’t clarify and argument, but merely drown their argument in minutiae. Rove isn’t like that. He uses the statistics — and only those that are relevant — in a very focused way, to build his arguments and support his message.
More later on what was good about that message itself. In my next blog post, though, get ready for some important criticisms of Rove’s speech.