Monday, August 13, 2007

Who is Karl Rove?

Hearing all this news about Karl Rove resigning but not sure who the hell he is? Well here is a quick summary of his life (in list form).

  • Birth - Karl Christian Rove was born on Dec. 25, 1950 in Denver, Colorado.
  • Life - He is best known as the Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush.
  • Resume - He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives.
  • Prior Career - For most of his career prior to his employment at the White House, Rove was a political consultant almost exclusively for Republican candidates.
  • Why Famous? - On April 23, 2007, a federal agency launched an extensive investigation into the activities of the White House's political operation and its architect, Karl Rove. It is checking whether Rove or other White House aides broke federal laws by making political presentations to government employees encouraging them to find ways to support Republican candidates.
  • Childhood - Rove was born the second of three children in Denver, Colorado, and later raised in Sparks, Nevada. His biological father abandoned the family early on and his mother remarried.
  • 1st Political Experience - In 1960, at the age of nine, Rove decided to support Richard Nixon. According to Rove, "There was a little girl across the street who was Catholic and found out I was for Nixon, and she was avidly for Kennedy. She put me down on the pavement and waled on me and gave me a bloody nose. I lost my first political battle."
  • College - In the fall of 1969, aged 18, Rove entered the University of Utah, on a $1,000 scholarship, as a political science major and joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. However in June 1971, Rove dropped out of college to take a paid position as the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee.
  • First Scandalous Act - In the fall of 1970, Rove used a false identity to enter the campaign office of Democrat Alan J. Dixon, who was running for Illinois State Treasurer, and stole 1000 sheets of paper with campaign letterhead. Rove then printed fake campaign rally fliers promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing", and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters, with the effect of disrupting Dixon's rally (Dixon eventually won the election). Rove's role would not become publicly known until August 1973. Rove told the Dallas Morning News in 1999, "It was a youthful prank at the age of 19 and I regret it."
  • Mother's Death - In 1981 Rove's mother committed suicide in Reno, Nevada.
  • Rove Meets W - Rove performed small personal tasks for George Bush Sr. as his personal assistant. In November 1973, Bush asked Rove to take a set of car keys to his son George W. Bush, who was visiting home during a break from Harvard Business School. It was the first time the two met. "Huge amounts of charisma, swagger, cowboy boots, flight jacket, wonderful smile, just charisma - you know, wow", Rove recalled years later.
  • Email Scandal - Due to investigations into White House staffers' e-mail communication related to the firing of United States Attorneys, it was discovered that many White House staff members, including Rove, had exchanged documents using Republican National Committee e-mail servers such as, or personal e-mail accounts with third party providers such as BlackBerry, considered a violation of the Presidential Records Act. Over 500 of Rove's emails were mistakenly sent to a parody web site, who forwarded them to an investigative reporter.
  • Resignation - In a Wall Street Journal interview published on August 13, 2007, Rove revealed that he would resign from the Administration effective August 31. Having originally floated the idea of resigning in mid-2006, Rove opted to stay with the White House through the 2006 mid-term elections and a number of policy debates in the first half of 2007. The resignation falls prior to the Labor Day deadline, set by White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton, for any senior aides wishing to leave the administration prior to the end of President Bush's second term. In a statement, he said, "There's always something that can keep you here, and as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family". Rove is expected to return to Texas following his resignation. He has indicated that he may write a book detailing his career in politics.

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