Somebody Slap Rove Upside The Head
If you somehow missed it, here's how David and Crow explained the spat the next day in HuffPost:
We asked Mr. Rove if he would consider taking a fresh look at the science of global warming. Much to our dismay, he immediately got combative. And it went downhill from there.The two had just finished a bio-diesel of college campuses, where they filled the naive heads of collegiates and profs with Warmie hysteria, which readily translates to anti-Bush, anti-business, anti-free market rhetoric. This was a big, big deal in the Warmie iconosphere; so big, in fact, that WaPo was kind enough to give us a day-by-day diary.
We reminded the senior White House advisor that the US leads the world in global warming pollution and we are doing the least about it. Anger flaring, Mr. Rove immediately regurgitated the official Administration position on global warming which is that the US spends more on researching the causes than any other country.
We felt compelled to remind him that the research is done and the results are in (www.IPCC.ch). Mr. Rove exploded with even more venom. Like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, Mr. Rove launched into a series of illogical arguments regarding China not doing enough thus neither should we. (Since when do we follow China's lead?) ...
In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, "Don't touch me." How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow? Unphased, Sheryl abruptly responded, "You can't speak to us like that, you work for us." Karl then quipped, "I don't work for you, I work for the American people." To which Sheryl promptly reminded him, "We are the American people."
I'm sure the David-Crow report trumped up the nastiness Rove and played down the bitchiness of the girls. I've heard, also, that David's husband Larry was making a first class fool of himself at the dinner, playing the strident lefty.
Be that as it may, anyone in the public eye knows to not let whackos get under your skin. You smile, you say that's nice, you maybe even make a counterpoint, but the last thing you want to make is news.
Rove needs to be slapped upside the head. "What were you thinking, Karl!?"
Now he's fed the image of the Bushies as being crazy hostile, ultra defensive and totally in the dark about climate change and its possible implications. Whatever he actually said, just his demeanor give them the opportunity to score Warmie points, build the mystique and make fools of those who think differently about human causality and the relative importance or scientific feasibility of "stopping" global warming.
When I train spokespersons, I teach seven rules, and not letting them get to you is high on the list. I've been in very hostile situations with angry folks on the opposite side of my clients, and you'd never know it (unless there was steam escaping out of my ears).
Rove has been through this kind of training in spades. He knows better, and he's done better on many occasions more intense than this. The fact that he would crack -- and do it with the two high priestesses of global warming -- indicates that tempers are short and nerves are frayed among senior Bush staffers.
Some vacations and some resignations are in order before more boilers on the ship of state blow. Mixing metaphores, there's going to be heat in the kitchen for another year and a half, so either put on the asbestos long underwear or get thee to temper rehab.