The Washington Post Bestseller - Now Updated with Five New Chapters and a New Epilogue
Unlike President George. W. Bush, Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, is rarely "misunderestimated." Many of the president's opponents see Rove's hand in everything the president does. His friends, and the president himself, are just thankful he's on their side, and always has been. From their earliest days in Texas, Rove saw and tapped the potential of George W. Bush. "Political hacks like me wait a lifetime for a guy like this to come along," Rove said of the future president.
The authors of Boy Genius fill readers in on the man, his methods, and his plans for the Republican majority for a fascinating, entertaining look at the Man Who Would be Kingmaker, an investigation that debunks myths as it reveals facts, and the story of exactly how American politics works now. From allegations of bugging his own office back in Texas, to shadowy dealings with Swift Boat veterans in the last election, Rove has played politics all the way to the highest levels, and though it sometimes isn't pretty, it works.
The career and canny rise to power of Karl Rove, the man President Bush calls "boy genius" and some Texans call "Bush's brain," gets a thorough rundown in this entertaining political bio by longtime journalists Dubose, Reid and Cannon. In a breezy, critical style, the authors recount Rove's early fascination with politics, his first political "job" (as a teen rally organizer for Utah Senator Wallace F. Bennett's 1968 re-election campaign) and his first big political prank (stealing stationery from an opposing campaign and inviting outsiders to headquarters for "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing"). In 1980, Rove, who'd spent the previous decade in Washington, D.C., moved to Texas, in part to help with Bush pere's first run for president. He saw vast potential for Republicans in Texas, though it had long been Democratic Party stronghold; during the next 20 years, more than any other single person, Rove turned Texas into a "Republican state." He courted conservative Democrats and recruited attractive, little-known candidates; he built disciplined, well-funded campaign organizations; he reached out to wealthy, conservative constituencies; he used negative information, whether true or not, to derail opposing campaigns; he sometimes fielded several candidates to beat an opponent; and he campaigned not just to win but to destroy his challengers. He also nurtured George W. Bush into a formidable force. (He said, "Political hacks like me wait a lifetime for a guy like this to come along.") Early on, Rove played to Bush's strengths, limiting most of his public appearances to small gatherings and reminding him to repeat the simple themes of his campaigns. As the book puts it about his race against Gov. Ann Richards, "the marathoner Bush just kept coming, always on message." Somewhat snide but definitely enlightening (on the cover "Boy" appears under Bush's picture while "Genius" appears under Rove's), this account offers a detailed look at one of the most powerful politicians in the U.S.