Courage and Consequence
My Life as a Conservative in the Fight
By Karl Rove
(Threshold Editions, Hardcover, 9781439191057, 608pp.)
Publication Date: March 9, 2010
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From the moment he set foot on it, Karl Rove has rocked America’s political stage. He ran the national College Republicans at twenty-two, and turned a Texas dominated by Democrats into a bastion for Republicans. He launched George W. Bush to national renown by unseating a popular Democratic governor, and then orchestrated a GOP White House win at a time when voters had little reason to throw out the incumbent party. For engineering victory after unlikely victory, Rove became known as “the Architect.”
Because of his success, Rove has been attacked his entire career, accused of everything from campaign chicanery to ideological divisiveness. In this frank memoir, Rove responds to critics, passionately articulates his political philosophy, and defends the choices he made on the campaign trail and in the White House. In the course of putting the record straight, Rove takes on Democratic leaders like Harry Reid and Tom Daschle who acted cynically or deviously behind closed doors, and even Republicans who lacked backbone at crucial moments.
Among other controversial topics Rove addresses, he sets the record straight on:
- The facts of his mother’s suicide and reports of his father’s alleged homosexuality
- The accusation that he bugged his own office in Texas
- The real story of how George W. Bush defeated governor Ann Richards
- The details of Bush’s stealth campaign to win the White House in 2000
- Why Bush cratered in New Hampshire but prevailed in South Carolina in 2000
- How Bush chose Dick Cheney as his presidential running mate
- How the Bush campaign managed Bush’s DUI
- The defection of Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords
- The frustrating challenges of Hurricane Katrina
- The facts behind Rove’s painful three years fending off a federal indictment, and
- Why Obama is wrong on healthcare.
Courage and Consequence is also the first intimate account from the highest level at the White House of one of the most headline-making presidencies of the modern age. Rove takes readers behind the scenes of:
- The bitterly contested 2000 presidential contest
- Every tense minute aboard Air Force One on 9/11
- The decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and
- The hard-won 2004 reelection fight.
Rove is candid about his mistakes in the West Wing and in his campaigns, and talks frankly about the heartbreak of his early family years. He spells out what it takes to win elections and how to govern successfully once a candidate has won. But Courage and Consequence is ultimately about the joy of a life committed to the conservative cause, a life spent in political combat and service to country, no matter the costs.
Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. He now writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal and is a Newsweek columnist and contributor to Fox News.
At the White House Rove oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.
Before he became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, Rove was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, non-partisan causes, and non-profit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.
A Colorado native, he attended the University of Utah, the University of Maryland-College Park, George Mason University, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Rove has taught graduate students at UT Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and undergraduates in a joint appointment from the Journalism and Government departments at the university. He was also a faculty member at the Salzburg Seminar.
He was previously a member of the Board of International Broadcasting, which oversaw the operations of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, and served on the White House Fellows regional selection panel. He was also a member of the Boards of Regents at Texas Women's Union and East Texas State University.
The book by the conservative strategist is called Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. Rove tells Fresh Air the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was not based on wrong information from the Bush administration, but was based on wrong information from the intelligence community. More at NPR.org
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