December 7, 2012
By Lee-Anne Goodman
The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON - Word that Fox News has moved to limit Karl Rove's appearances in the aftermath of U.S. President Barack Obama's decisive re-election victory in November has fuelled speculation that the longtime Republican operative's grip on the party is finally slipping.
Nicknamed "Bush's brain" when he was a top aide to George W. Bush, Rove was apparently given a time-out from his most visible pulpit as Fox News president Roger Ailes apparently attempts to undo some of the damage inflicted upon the network by Romney cheerleaders last month.
Network officials have confirmed that Fox producers must now get pre-clearance before booking either Rove or Dick Morris, another Republican pundit who predicted a landslide win for Mitt Romney over Obama on Nov. 6.
According to Rove's website, he's still scheduled to appear on two Fox News shows next week.
Even Ailes was startled by Rove's infamous on-air meltdown on election night when the network declared Obama the winner.
Ailes later recounted in an interview that he'd had a "what the?" reaction as he watched Rove challenge his network's election callers on-air. . .
Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas who has long watched Rove's career, says the Republican operative's "access to a bottomless pool of dumb money in Texas" will ensure he remains a party mover and shaker for years to come.
"That money was the foundation of his fundraising for Crossroads in the early going of the campaign, and some of the biggest contributors to Crossroads were from Texas," Jillson said.
"Those donors aren't going to abandon him, and since he lacks the embarrassment gene, he's not likely to take himself out of the game."
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