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VIDEO: An Awkward Moment, As Karl Rove Objects To Fox's Ohio Call

If you were plugged into the polls, odds are nothing really surprised you about last night.

That's why one of the most dramatic moments of night had to be when GOP strategist and major fundraiser Karl Rove threw a bomb in the middle of the Fox News broadcast.

Shortly after Fox News became one of the first to call Ohio for the president, Rove chastised its "decision desk."

"This is premature," Rove said, adding later that he'd be "very cautious about intruding in this process."

Here's the video; the awkwardness begins at around 3:51:

As NPR's David Folkenflik wrote earlier today, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly tried hard to convince Rove that the network's analysts had found no plausible way for Romney to overcome his deficit.

David reports:

"Even as more results continued streaming in, Rove did it again. At 11:40 p.m., he was still at it — reciting county after county, "and then there are cats and dogs elsewhere that add up to another 120,000 votes." Kelly and Baier sought to provide a check but listened sagely to Rove, who is not just a chief political analyst for Fox and a columnist for its sibling newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, but also a leader of one of the major outside political committees spending tens of millions to defeat Obama and other Democrats.

"Having lost the argument — not to mention his call that predicted for Romney an edge over Obama in the electoral college of about 30 electoral college votes — Rove made clear that the president's victory carried little weight.

"'He has blown the last two years — he's played small ball,' Rove said around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday. 'This does not bode well for the future. ... He may have won the battle but lost the war.'"

Of course, one of the big questions that will be answered in the coming months is what will become of Rove's huge influence on GOP politics. Remember Rove is the man behind American Crossroads, the most influential and well-heeled super PAC on the Republican side. After his predictions didn't come true, will his big donors shy away from him? Or will he continue his decades of influence over the party?

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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