Dear Santa: I’d like one stuffed elephant and one Hillary Clinton nomination. From: Karl Rove

Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, and Karl Rove heart Hillary Clinton. Why do they heart Hillary? Because they know that she’s the easiest opposition candidate to beat. The fact that they incessantly praise her “fighter” attitude and cockroach-like resilience is an obvious attempt to get her nominated. Karl Rove is just waiting in the wings, rubbing his hands gleefully as she continues to look tougher than Obama and Obama plays the nice guy. Why? Because for everything Obama’s got going against him, Hillary’s got worse things against her.  And the GOP knows it.

Exhibit A: Lots of people hate the Clintons. Lots. They’ve managed to amass a veritable army of anti-Clintonites through the years, and the GOP is just waiting to exploit it. Republican and former Congressman Joe Scarborough says “I just love Hillary” and means “I just want John McCain to have a decent shot at winning this thing.”

Exhibit B: A list of the donors for HRC’s presidential campaign includes several questionable persons who were involved in the 1990’s Democratic Party fundraising scandal that tarnished her husband’s record. Marvin Rosen, the former Democratic National Committee finance chairman whose efforts to reward six-figure party donors with attendance at White House coffees and overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom became the focal point of Senate hearings into fundraising abuses… William Stuart Price, the Oklahoma oilman also on the list, shocked a courtroom in 1995 when he detailed how his former gas company had tried to “gain influence” with the Clinton administration by providing $160,000 in money and membership in a ritzy Washington golf club to the son of a Cabinet secretary. Price’s testimony became the focal point of a criminal investigation of Ron Brown, then commerce secretary and a former chairman of the Democratic Party. The inquiry ended with the conviction of Price’s former bosses, Nora and Gene Lum, for making illegal donations.

Exhibit C: Republican voters have cast an awful lot of ballots lately for Senator Hillary Clinton: About 100,000 GOP loyalists voted for her in Ohio, 119,000 in Texas, and about 38,000 in Mississippi, according to exit polls. Sudden need for the blue? Hardly. Since McCain became the obvious nominee, Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton, a tactic that some voters and local Republican activists think will help their party in November. Egged on by conservative talk radio, GOP voters who say they would never back Clinton in a general election are voting for her now for strategic reasons: Some want to prolong her bitter nomination battle with Barack Obama, others believe she would be easier to beat than Obama in the fall, or they simply want to register objections to Obama. My own Republican ex-boyfriend was tempted to vote for her in Wisconsin for precisely those reasons.

In conclusion, don’t let the Republicans’ “respect” for Hillary fool you. If Karl Rove’s praising a Democrat, there’s something in it for him- and the GOP.