Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sesno hosts lively debate between Plouffe and Rove

GW Professor Frank Sesno, who was recently voted by faculty to become the new SMPA director, moderated a debate last night between Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and Karl Rove, the "architect" of the Bush messaging machine.

The debate was hosted at the Panetta Institute in Monterey, CA, and archival video should be available soon.

The topic of the event was bipartisanship. Sam Stein writes, "They did not exactly lead by example."
At one point, as Rove kept badgering Obama for perpetuating (in his words) "this myth" of a president "who is committed to bipartisanship and post partisanship," Plouffe acidly replied: "This is like getting interview lessons from Sarah Palin -- a lecture on bipartisanship [from Rove]."
Sesno's response to this zinger, according to the Washington Times, was only "Wow."

Ben Smith provided further analysis of the debate:Link
In eight years, just maybe, David Plouffe will be ready to join the congenial, bipartisan circuit of semi-retired campaign hands and political pundits. He sure isn't there right now, and refused to play along with Rove's friendly plug of both men's forthcoming books.

"But mine will be in the non-fiction section," Plouffe interjected, prompting Rove to take a shot of his own: "His will be the one with lots of pictures in it and it comes with a little box of crayons so you can do it yourself."

Rove didn't lack for punchiness either. He attacked the moderator, CNN's Frank Sesno, for bias, and said he opposed the appointment of Leon Panetta to head the CIA -- at the Panetta institute.

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