Today's Washington Post has a long article (three screens worth) on Barack Obama's version of Karl Rove, a fellow named Pete Rouse.
Pete used to be a king-maker who worked for Tom Daschle and, according to the story, is mostly responsible for turning a young first term senator from Illinois in to the best chance the Democrats have had of electing a senator since 1960.
You may remember John Kennedy was a bit of paradigm breaker himself. Young, Catholic and the first of what Tom Brokaw has called "The Greatest Generation" to take the Oval Office made JFK still one of the most enduring images of a politician in the 20th Century.
Rouse is apparently part of a wide group who Obama has gathered around himself. The graphic which the Post printed is up above and shows the many phases of the Barack moon. These folks come from all kinds of places, unlike those hovering around Sen. Clinton.
The part I really like about all these folks is they are professional political operatives not because they want power ("why, hello Karl"), they want the system to work and they see some special halo around a first-term senator who has a hell of a problem with cigarettes.
Barack is starting to convince even me he might have a shot. Maybe because I feel nostalgic for The West Wing, a show where characters wanted to do the right thing and win. The quote below came in to my head when I was reading about Rouse.
Woman in Bar: You've been a... what do you call it?
Toby Ziegler: Professional political operative.
Woman in Bar: You've been one your whole life?
Toby Ziegler: There was a while there I was in Elementary School.