Paul Krugman wonders:
Karl Rove's Mission Accomplished?: The estimable Rick Perlstein has a fascinating essay about the seamless continuum from direct-mail marketing scams to direct-mail right-wing fundraising…. I suspect that his analysis explains one of the great mysteries of 2012: the failure of the great Rove/Citizens United juggernaut to materialize. Remember how Rove and others were supposed to raise vast sums… saturate the country… drowning out Obama’s message? Well, they certainly raised a lot of money… state-level polls suggest both that Obama is a strong favorite and, much more surprising, that Democrats are overwhelmingly favored to hold the Senate in a year when the number of seats at risk was supposed to spell doom…. [M]oney can’t help all that much when you have a lousy message. But it also looks as if the money was surprisingly badly spent. What happened?
Well, what if we’ve been misunderstanding Rove?… [Is he] an entrepreneur in the business of selling his services to angry right-wing billionaires who believe that he can help them take over America…. Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year. What’s more, this makes sense of the embarrassing Rove “we’re winning! trust me!” piece in the WSJ, especially notable because — as Sam Wang recalls — Rove so famously declared that he had THE MATH just before the GOP debacle in 2006. It’s hard to think of any good reason to pretend that Romney has it in the bag — unless that pretense gets you one last big slug of business before Election Day….
[But]maybe Rove is really a selfless true believer, his actions untainted by self-interest…