According to Ambinder, Karl Rove has warned state GOP leaders not to attempt to stigmatize Barack Obama by using his middle name as a slur.
Presumably Rove has a bunch of other strategies for smearing Obama, but it is interesting that Rove apparently told his audience that hammering the middle name might perpetuate the odd idea, incomprehensibly held by so many otherwise rational Americans, that Republicans tend toward the bigoted side. Strange, that one.
Anyway, as a symbol of the power of Rove in today's diminished Republican Party, the Tennessee GOP pretty much immediately ignored his advice. Interestingly, Rove was right. When a small public firestorm of distaste erupted, the piece was edited. I would still warn Republicans to take Rovian advice with great caution -- much of the weakness of the current party is due directly to his strategies and worldview. Yeah, he's right that you're going to come out of this election looking like a band of schizophrenic terror junkies who just ain't comfortable with, you know, anything different, but I suggest moving away from Rovian politics entirely. Ideological purity ain't all it's cracked up to be, guys, especially when the job is to govern a gigantic, powerful, and diverse nation.