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Karl Rove on Tuesday suggested that American media could learn something from the papal conclave about not calling elections prematurely — a point the Republican strategist argued futilely during an infamous on-air Election Night meltdown.
Appearing on Fox News, Rove invoked references to domestic politics to speak jokingly about the process of selecting the next pope.
"Thank God we don't have exit polls or early returns," Rove cracked. "They do it the right way. They get to the final vote and the decision and then they let the smoke get it."
Continuing the riff, Rove suggested that political journalists in the United States could take a cue from that process.
"Maybe there's a message there for American media," Rove said. "Maybe we better wait, rather than try to call it, let the election go to its final conclusion and let the results speak for themselves."
The joke harkened back to Election Night, when Rove challenged the decision by networks to call Ohio, and the election, for President Barack Obama at a relatively early hour in the evening. Contributing to Fox's election coverage, Rove contended that the conservative cable news network had jumped the gun by putting the Buckeye State in Obama's column.