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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The following is an excerpt from Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power, by Craig Unger. A best-selling author, investigative journalist, and contributing editor at Vanity Fair, Unger now boasts the highest possible recommendation for his new book: He has clearly irritated Rove, the former Bush White House political chief, whom he confronted at a breakfast during last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa. Today, Scribner officially publishes BossRove, which is available here

On Wednesday, April 21, 2010, about two dozen Republican power brokers gathered at Karl Rove’s five-bedroom Federal-style townhouse on Weaver Terrace in Northwest Washington, D.C., to strategize about the upcoming midterm elections in the fall.

Rove, 59, had hosted this kind of event many times before. Six years earlier, he held weekly breakfasts for high-level GOP operatives to plan for the 2004 fall elections. Back then, as senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, a bureaucratic title that belied his extraordinary power, Rove oversaw Bush’s reelection campaign. More important, he was attempting to implement a master plan to build a permanent majority through which Republicans would maintain a stranglehold on all three branches of government for the foreseeable future. The plan was not merely to win elections. It represented a far more grandiose vision: the forging of a historic realignment of the nation’s political landscape, the transformation of America into effectively a one-party state.

But now Rove was no longer in the White House. He had been one of the most powerful unelected officials in the United States, but, to many Republicans, his greatest achievement—engineering the presidency of George W. Bush—had become an ugly stain on the party’s reputation. “Karl Rove will be a name that’ll be used for a long, long time as an example of how not to do it, as opposed to an example of how to do it,” says GOP consultant Ed Rollins, who served as President Reagan’s political director.

A prime suspect in the two biggest political scandals of the decade, the Valerie Plame Wilson affair and the U.S. attorneys scandal, Rove had left the White House in 2007 under a cloud of suspicion, barely escaping indictment. His longtime patron had left the White House with the lowest approval rating in the history of the presidency: 22 percent. And in 2008 the Democrats vaporized Rove’s dreams by winning the ultimate political trifecta: the House, the Senate, and the White House. Finally, on the right, there was the insurgent Tea Party, to which he personified the free-spending Bush era and the Republican Party’s establishment past, not its future.

Rove’s personal life and finances had also fared poorly. His 2009 divorce from Darby, his wife of twenty-four years, meant the loss of more than half of his assets. And there were enormous legal bills resulting from the scandals. “I had to worry about retirement,” he told New York magazine. “I had to worry about getting back to Texas.”

But Rove was not without resources. Thanks to his columns in Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, and a lucrative contract with Fox News, he had straightened out his personal finances and, in just two years, created a lofty bully pulpit from which to bestow upon the public the Rovian narrative about American politics.

During his seven years in the White House, Rove had been able to dispense the perks that are so vital to building political capital with the powers that be. “Having control of the White House is very heady stuff,” says Roger Stone, a GOP operative who has known Rove for forty years. “Inviting them to the White House mess, state dinners, and so on. He has a big Rolodex of Texas millionaires.”

Another arrow in Rove’s quiver came courtesy of Michael Steele, then the hapless chairman of the Republican National Committee. An unfailing source of fodder for late-night comics, Steele had just outdone himself when the RNC squandered nearly $2,000 at a lesbians­-in-bondage-themed strip club in Hollywood—precisely the kind of thing the party of family values and evangelicalism didn’t need when its coffers were bare. Whether he was discussing abortion, Afghanistan, or even asserting, preposterously, that the Republican Party needed “a hip-hop makeover,” Steele had been so out of step with the party that conservative donors were desperately seeking an alternative.

Finally, Rove had one other enormously powerful ally. It could be fairly said that no other political strategist in history was so deeply indebted to the U.S. Supreme Court. In December 2010, in Bush v. Gore, one of the most notorious decisions in its history, by a 5–4 vote, the Court effectively resolved the 2000 United States presidential election in favor of Rove’s most famous client, George W. Bush. Then, on January 21, 2010, three months before his luncheon, the Supreme Court once again provided the answer to Karl Rove’s prayers, this time, in the form of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, another landmark decision, ruling that the First Amendment prohibits the government from limiting spending for political purposes by corporations and unions. This last decision was also made by a 5–4 majority, and this time, two of the justices voting with the majority, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, in part owed their lifetime appointments to Rove and to support from political action committees (PACs) such as Progress for America, which was tied to Rove. The first decision legitimized Rove’s power during the two administrations of George W. Bush. The second allowed Rove to reestablish his power and resurrected his efforts to create a permanent Republican majority.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • In all fairness, Karl is just one of many. Dick Armey, the Koch brothers, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party are all responsible for turning the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and even Ronald Reagan into a party that only appeals to people consumed by greed, hatred, and the ignorant.

    • pi boson

      Karl Rove is THE axis of evil. He is the reason “politics” and “politicians” are perceived so negatively. The country longs for a real statesmen (or rather statesperson), but Karl Rove has single-handedly driven a wedge between the 95% and the 2%. If you read biographic and other news stories, one can readily see why he and George Bush jr aligned so well. Karl Rove, the root of evil in the United States.

    • I am an Independent and I strongly disagree. I was a Democrat for most of my life. When JFK said” Ask not whay your country can do for you but rather ask what you can do for your country” I was totally commited to the democratic party. Now it has become the party of hate, racism, and lies! I never left the Democratic Party…..IT LEFT ME!

      • Mr. Green, are you racist?

      • Yo Don, Surely you jest! What a bunch of puppy poop you present!

      • Once again your country needs you – to be engaged.

        If you are not outraged, then you have not been paying attention!

      • grammyjill


      • Justin Napolitano

        Really don? You have written your post now go collect your money from the your Republican handlers. They pay by the amount of comments you post so be sure to post a few more so you can make a few extra dollars.

      Beginning with Reagan Bush Bush and 9/11 a group of people began to take over the former Republican party’s upper ranks and to deconstruct not only the social, economic fabric of America but to also destroy any respect for its Democratic tradition’s and institutions. They have nearly completed their agenda of “Government for the Powerful and by the Powerful” and have completely fooled the Republican rank and file who believe it is just “business as usual” within the party and nationally. To this hidden power group such things as religion, sex preference, the Constitution etc. are nothing but tools to be used to manipulate the base and any opposition which might show up [the Democratic party]. This is an old story from many failed societies but I am sorry to see it come to America so soon in our history.

  • adler56

    Rove is America’s Goebbels- as ugly as him too.

  • William Deutschlander

    Rove is undisputably the GREATEST THREAT TO DEMOCRACY and a Republic of all the people, by all the people and for all the people.

    Rove envisions a governing style that resembles Putin’s Russia.

  • coxel

    Why this guy was let off the hook is still a travesty of justice. He reeks of foul odor and the rep. party is getting the stench in there message. He should have bowed out a long time ago might have saved his Marriage.

  • Rove is the epitomy of evil. I don’t wish ill on mnay people, but I do on him. A pox on your house Karl Rove.

  • jarheadgene

    Hey LOOK it’s “Piglet in a Suit” My daughter loves the POOH characters. Unfortunately this guy is not a Pooh character……HE’s just FULL of POO!

  • howa4x

    Rove is from a long line of dirty tricksters that dominate the repupublican party since Nixon. Who could forget the tag team of Erlichmann and Haldeman who came up with the plumbers idea, or Maurice Stans at the treasury taking in bags of cash from rich donors. they were flush with money just like citizens unitied is doing now. This was before campagin finance reform. Reagan did the welfare queen routine and Bush 1 did Willie Horton, always appealing to the white base in racial overtones. This is the Republican way. They hide behind the flag and the cross and manipulate voters to turn their heads so they can funnel more and more to the 1%. Both Reagan and Bush II presided over some of the largest transfers of wealth from the middle class to the super rich in the history of the republic. Rove may or not be a racist, but will use it to sway angry whites. He is merely an immoral person who will do anything to get his party in power. The real problem is all those seemingly religious republicans who don’t ever say that’s wrong and we don’t want our name associated with it. Obama should run directly at Rove and through him at the Alfred E. Neuman immpersonator: George W Bush

  • Melvin Chatman

    “Po Thang”

  • My Father was a State Senator from the proud State of Kansas for many years and he was always a Democrat. He worked hard to help get OUR GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER elected…HARRY S TRUMAN!!!!!!! He was not a believer in FDR serving four terms and disagreed with his Socialistic Policies. He never kept his SS check but rather gave them to charity. He always said anything from the government must be needs based. Yes you pay into SS but if you don’t need the money you don’t keep it but rather give it to someone who truly does. My parents were Democrats their entire lives ……and back then so was my whole family….but back then the Democratic Party was for the working people and the TRULY needy…not the generation after geneation welfare families who are to lazy to work!!!! I am sorry but I wouldn’t hire BHO to manage one of my businesses because he is NOT QUALIFIED and I have many employees who are persons of different races than me! God bless each personwho reads this and God bless the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

    • ObozoMustGo

      Don Green… God bless YOU! You, my friend, are the type of Democrat that America needs back. I’ve been saying it for years… The Democrats are no longer the party of working people, but the party of dependence and immorality. The progressive radicals and socialists have hijacked your once proud party, and you guys need to take it back. Like the Tea Party or not, they are changing the Republicans from the inside out and are throwing out all the RINOs that come up in primaries. The Democrats need the same internal revolution with God fearing, sensible, and ethical people like you. Your father would be the type of Democrat that I would not only support, but be honored to work for his reelection.

      Have a wonderful day, Don!

      “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

  • By failing to indict Karl Rove when the opportunity was presented, the Justice Department did the US a grave injustice. This same breach of duty occurred with Newt Gingrich in the 1990’s. When known bad actors are allowed to continue their unrelenting misbehavior unchecked, the nation as a whole suffers.

  • ObozoMustGo


    National Debt Hits $16 TRILLION on Opening Night of DemoncRATic Convention

    Congratulations Mr. Obozo!!!! You are succeeding at fundamentally transforming America……………….. into the world’s next bankrupt nation and laughing stock of the world!!!! Way to go!!! Nice accomplishment to speak about at the convention….. NOT!!!

    What timing????? Obozo the messiah must have coordinated this intentionally. After all, he did stop the seas from rising and healed the planet, didn’t he?

    [click images to enlarge]

    Have a nice day!

    “We have elected some very intelligent people to administer our government… ..WHY do they (all elected government officials at all levels; National, State, & Local) not understand that we cannot continue to SPEND more than we take in indefinitely without end … … .????? Have we all gone nuts????… ..Eventually, income MUST equal or exceed spending; it’s just plain common sense, not rocket science… … !!!” – Anonymous

  • onedonewong

    The US attorneys was a candle?? What was it when barak demanded all of them turn in their resignations??? Valerie Plane??/ She should have been prosecuted for hiring her husband under a no bid contract