Karl Rove broke ranks with the number crunchers at Fox News on Tuesday night when he refused to believe that Mitt Romney had lost Ohio. “Maybe we got you a slow computer,” Fox’s Bret Baier feebly offered in a series of awkward exchanges that exposed fractures in the conservative political alliance. See them here.

Rove was the biggest loser of election night, says Craig Unger, author of the recent book “Boss Rove.” Playing the roles of wise pundit and string-puller for conservative political action committees, Rove was at the helm of the Republican campaign machine. He orchestrated “massive, multimillion-dollar political ad campaigns that inundated the swing states with countless ads funded by his super PACs and ‘dark money’ groups,” Unger writes on Salon. He continued a campaign of voter suppression that he began in 2004, and he shaped narratives of Obama as impotent in the face of the worldwide terrorist threat.

In the end, it was all for naught. Obama will stay in the White House. And for the foreseeable future, Romney is on his way to becoming a footnote in American political history. But is Rove gone for good?

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Craig Unger at Salon:

Not at all. It is worth remembering Rove has been written off before. In 2007, he was forced out of the White House in disgrace, having narrowly escaped indictment, the target of two of the biggest scandals in the Bush-Cheney era, having barely escaped indictment. The next year, his patron, George W. Bush, left the presidency with a 22 percent approval rating, the lowest in the history of the United States. The Rove brand was tainted irrevocably. Or so it seemed.

All of which means, when it comes to Karl Rove, the Democrats had best play by Chicago rules. “That means when he is dead, you put a stake through his heart,” explained one Democratic operative. “Then you put a bullet through his head. You pour gasoline on him and set him on fire. Then you kill him again. Because he’ll be back.”

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