Karl Rove on the John Gibson Show yesterday:
While the vote was being made, I was listening to Chris Van Hollen, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, speaking on National Public Radio, who was basically saying that we’re going to use this issue against the Republicans in the fall. Now, then I went and took a look at the vote, and then talked to some members. Now, when you’ve got a big issue like this, and we’ve been through a number of them, the pit of the house in a big important vital vote like this is an emotional place, as people contemplate, literally, whether or not they are going to end their political futures by their vote.
And so you’ve got Republicans there who are being asked to vote for this, and they’re hearing Chris Van Hollen, literally, there are 16 vulnerable House Democrat freshman who are allowed to vote no. And they’re being told on the floor by Van Hollen and others, ‘you can vote against this.’ There are five committee chairs who owe their positions to Nancy Pelosi — John Conyers, chairman of judiciary. Colin Peterson, chairman of agriculture, Filner, head of veterans, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, head of homeland security, Gene Green gead of the Ethics Commission – and those five committee chairs are voting no.
You have senior Democrats like Solomon Ortiz, Pete Stark, the number two guy on the Ways and Means Committee, Fazio of Oregon, Clay of Missouri, Costello of Illinois – Jesse – you know, all of whom are close to the speaker, and they’re voting no. You have some of her close friends and allies like the Sanchez sisters of California and Lynn Woolsey and Herseth Sandlin from South Dakota and Barbara Lee close friends and allies voting no.
Republicans are sitting on the floor seeing her take a two-by-four to them and then let these people who are her allies and supporters and friends and committee chairs and members of her leadership vote no. I mean, what was the speaker thinking?
Gibson wonders if Barney Frank says he’s willing to be nice to twelve Republicans in order to get their support, why he couldn’t work his charms on 12 of the 94 Democrats who voted ‘no’ — presumably, individuals much more receptive to the persuasive charms of Frank.
Rove noted Frank failed to persuade one of his own subcommittee chairs on the banking committee, Serrano of New York, who voted ‘no.’
Rove finds three Democrats from Chicago — Jesse Jackson Jr., Bobby Rush, and Daniel Lipinski — who voted no, wondering where the heck the world’s most famous Chicago Democrat was. Rove rattles off several other House Democrats who are strong Obama backers.
I am now persuaded by this. If voting “yes,” is political suicide, Pelosi can’t let her Democrats go and reap the benefits of a non-disastrous economy, and beat the Republicans up for making the hard call. She’s the speaker, she controls the chamber. You can’t say, “vote for this bill, it is necessary” and “we will target any Republican who votes for this bill” at the same moment.