Final Word from Monday, November 8, 2004

The first person George W. Bush singled out for praise after his election victory was his chief strategist, Karl Rove. Rove is now being widely feted as a genius. In the CR, Stanislav Gross bet the house on advice from Andrej Surňak and lost everything. ČSSD won just 14% of the vote in the regional elections, to 36% for ODS, and did even worse in the Senate elections. Gross talks of a positive trend after improving from 8% in the EU elections, but this doesn't fool anyone. The election results show that Gross took control of the party and country prematurely and let himself be overly influenced by self-interested advisers handing out bad advice. As painful as it will be for Gross to admit, he needs the help of ex-Premier Miloš Zeman, and it'll have to be on Zeman's terms. Otherwise, Gross can count on being out of a job after the general elections in 18 months.

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