Chuck Schumer thinks Sheldon Adelson should go Donald Trump on Karl Rove. No, the senior New York senator doesn't think that Adelson should ask for Rove's birth certificate—he thinks the conservative casino billionaire should tell the GOP strategist: You're fired.
Speaking to reporters at a breakfast this morning organized by the Christian Science Monitor, Schumer said that given the poor track record of Rove's American Crossroads—the group spent nearly $104 million on the election, according to one study, with 98 percent of it spent on races where their preferred candidate lost—he should be in a lot of trouble with his financial backers. "Karl Rove's reputation is going to take a significant hit," Schumer said. "If Crossroads were a business and Rove was the CEO he'd be fired for getting poor return for his investors." He added that, "I don't think Crossroads is going to end up being as much a player as it was two years ago."
We'll see on that latter point. My bet is that Rove and his allies will be able to convince his funders to give them one more chance—they'll argue that 2012 was a unique set of circumstances with a poor Republican candidate opposing an Obama juggernaut the likes of which had never been seen (and, they might argue, won't be seen again since the president is term-limited). What will be interesting will be the extent to which Rove and his ilk continue to pour money into television advertising, or whether they turn their independent spending activities toward things like more sophisticated voter persuasion and mobilization.
In any case, it was a long night for Rove, the more so for the surreal scene he caused on Fox News Channel after the conservative network had called Ohio for President Barack Obama. If you haven't seen it, it was at the time the entertainment cherry topping a gratifying election night. If you haven't seen Megyn Kelly's instant-classic march to Fox's "decision desk," it's worth a watch:
- Read Susan Milligan: Why McCaskill, Heitkamp, Brown, and Heller Won
- Read Leslie Marshall: Obama's Victory Shows Democrats Understand the Future of America
- Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.