It happens all the time in fast time. A powerful figure is designated as the cause of an organizational disaster and becomes the scapegoat. Now, that is happening to conservative strategist Karl Rove.
POLITICO chronicles how diverse constituencies, both conservative and liberal, are beating up Rove. That is no surprise. The issue, at least for us in the communications business, is the question of how Rove can rebrand himself for changing times. His situation is especially difficult because, like Coca-Cola, he is an iconic brand.
Brands which aren't iconic have had an easier time of it. Although Hillary Clinton, as wife of iconic brand Bill Clinton, had been a high-profile figure she was not iconic. Therefore, she could adeptly rebrand herself from First Lady to U.S. Senator to presidential candidate to U.S. Secretary of State. Now that she is an iconic brand the shift to The Next will be more challenging.
For the interim, Rove might lay low. He is back at Fox but should use that forum to cautiously explore the issues of the day. Slowly he could take on the identity of the wise analyst who is available to provide recommendations on strategy. Never again should he attempt to assume leadership of conservatism in the U.S.