New York magazine reports that President Obama met with the "chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign," Matthew Dowd. The magazine describes this as "surprising," or at least, "more surprising" than his meeting with President Reagan's chief of staff, Kenneth Duberstein:
Obama trusted Rouse's judgment about what needed fixing but wanted more data. So in November and December, on his own initiative, he did something out of character: He let the outside in. Scheduling the appointments himself, sometimes on the sly, he invited a passel of Washington wise men to meet with him in the Oval Office with no staff present. Some of the names have been reported: former Clinton chiefs of staff John Podesta and Leon Panetta; former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein; former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle and centrist jack-of-all-trades David Gergen; and, of course, Bill Clinton. But others have not. Longtime Clinton consigliere Vernon Jordan is one. And another, more surprising, is Matthew Dowd, who served as chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. (Dowd declined to confirm the meeting, but the White House did.)
But it's not as if Obama is getting advice from Karl Rove or Richard Cheney. What New York magazine and Mike Allen's Politico Playbook, which picked up the New York magazine story, leave out is that Mr. Dowd went public in 2007 in a New York Times interview breaking with President Bush. The Times article said "Mr. Dowd said he had become so disillusioned with the war that he had considered joining street demonstrations against it." Back in April 2007, this Times article quoted Mr. Dowd as saying, "The only candidate who appeals to him, he said, is Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois."
In other words, rather than seeking advice from the Bush camp, as the New York and Politico articles portray it, Mr. Obama is seeking advice from a guy who has been publicly praising him, while trashing Bush, since 2007.