Free Will Book Review

By Karl Rove

Satan himself writes his memoirs, and if you believe that you've been watching too much disinformation on the network news. These memoirs reveal Rove to be a modest man who has done and seen remarkable things, and his tale is worth reading.

His beginnings were modest - a periphratic "Man From Hope"-style childhood following his geologist father across the western United States. Rove's parents were marginal types, and emotionally troubled as well (something Rove's cruder critics have been happy to exploit). Rove reacted to this by becoming a workaholic and obsessive student. While Rove does not moan about his childhood, or brag about his intellect, it's clear that he was a bit of a wunderkind. In Rove's early 20's, h
is skills as a political operator - Rove was a big wheel in the College Republicans - brought him early attention from Bush 41, which pretty much made Rove's career.

Once in Texas, Rove opened a direct mail company and began working on GOP campaigns. Half of this 500+ page book is dedicated to Rove's campaign work, and no wonder. Whatever you might think of Rove, he is a brilliant political operative with an encyclopedic knowledge of the United States that extends down to the precinct level. Rove also has an intuitive grasp of how voters behave, and how to calibrate political gestures to better win elections. His descriptions of the 2000 and 2004 campaigns are exciting and filled with drama.

Once in the White House, Rove must deal with a lot more tragedy than triumph. 9/11, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, etc; all of the miserable events of the early 21st century. Rove also must deal with the duplicity and demagoguery of his putative opposition Democrats who took "Republicans Are Evil" to new depths. Rove admits to failing to grasp how the Bush Administration's struggles in war and disaster caused them to become vulnerable to political attack and expresses regret that he didn't make more of an effort to fight back against "torture" Democrats. Yeah, no sh**, Sherlock. Rove was a brilliant campaigner, but his media savvy is sorely lacking at times.

Rove also expends a lot of pages on the Plame-Wilson affair, which was one of the great cocked-up criminal investigations of all time. It's still hard to believe that this was once considered a life and death issue for the republic, and Rove still seems bewildered, too. But, he also makes clear the anguish and pain he suffered as the investigation dragged on. Rove notes that there were many in the media and in Democrat circles who absolutely reveled in his discomfort. Rove's sin wasn't that he "outed" Valerie Plame; it was that he was the Architect. (btw, the American Association of Architects - or whatever they are - apparently have told Rove he cannot refer to himself as the architect, as he is not licensed. The pettiness of our politics never cease to amaze). Rove claims that he was never distracted by Plame/Fitzgerald, but that is hard to believe. That's not to blame Rove; his "outing" of Plame was based on an off-hand remark at the end of a phone call. It's just a damned shame that he blundered into a classic DC press frenzy, which have turned into the American version of Mao's purges.

Needless to say, if you are a political junkie, this is a must-read, as Rove is one of the central political figures from the last 15 years. He rights well with plenty of good spirits. Rove's reputation has taken a beating both on the Left and the Right. This book reminds us of what a remarkable man Rove truly is.

Best Retirement Invesments Auto Search