Karl Rove
former White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Karl Rove
Karl Christian Rove is an American political consultant and policy advisor. He was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Biography
Karl Rove's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Karl Rove from around the web
Trump administration increases deportation guidelines
Fox News - 8 days
Karl Rove weighs in
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Fox News article
What Happens When A President Doesn't Like To Read? We're Already Finding Out.
Huffington Post - 13 days
Back what seems like years ago, when former President of the United States Barack Obama surprised Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he invited the Vice President to step up to the podium and give an off-the-cuff acceptance speech. Biden proceeded to, from memory, quote a line from Harry Truman, a lyric from Irish poet Seamus Heaney, and a passage from the Talmud. In the moment, it was a brief but stark reminder of what was about to leave the White House – an administration that valued literature, led by one of the biggest book worms the Oval Office has ever seen - and what was about to hurl itself in. The new occupant, to say the least, does not share the same passion. Donald Trump doesn’t read books, and it’s not something he’s embarrassed about. When Megyn Kelly asked him during the campaign what the last book he read was, Trump responded “I read passages, I read areas, chapters, I don’t have the time.” The fact is, the words of other people don’t matter too muc ...
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Huffington Post article
Political fallout from executive orders
Fox News - 30 days
Karl Rove weighs in
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Fox News article
Karl Rove to Trump: 'Lower the temperature' on Mexico
Fox News - about 1 month
Fox News contributor gives his take on the debate over the border wall
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Fox News article
Karl Rove: As he takes office @realDonalTrump should finally give up his Twitter account
Fox News - about 1 month
Donald J. Trump is about to be sworn in as America’s 45th president, after an astonishing victory in an extraordinary election.
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Fox News article
Will Democrats block Donald Trump's nominees?
Fox News - about 2 months
Karl Rove weighs in
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Fox News article
WTF: Milo Yiannopoulos Inks Book Deal With Simon & Schuster
Huffington Post - 2 months
Ex-Twitter bully Milo Yiannopoulos may have been taken offline, but now he’ll be in print.  The “alt-right” editor at Breitbart News just signed a $250,000 book deal with Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, as per an exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter.  Threshold Editions told The Huffington Post in an email that the book will be called Dangerous and is set to be released on March 14, 2017. The imprint summarized the book by stating: DANGEROUS will be a book on free speech by the outspoken and controversial gay British writer and editor at Breitbart News who describes himself as “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet.”    “They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off. Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened,” Yiannopoulos told THR. “Did it hurt Madonna being banned from MTV in the 1990s? Did all that negative press hurt Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election?” Are you irritated yet? Because if you are, you’r ...
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Huffington Post article
The transition from President Obama to President-elect Trump
Fox News - 2 months
Karl Rove weighs in
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Fox News article
Soundcast Review: <i>Chillpak Hollywood Hour</i>
Huffington Post - 2 months
Chillpak Hollywood Hour Epi500: Touring Forest Lawn This past week the show that drew me to the world of soundcasting dropped its 500th episode. I first heard the Chillpak Hollywood Hour some eight years ago, hosted then as it is now by Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness. (Haglund is best known for his recurring role as Langley in TV's The X-Files and its spinoff series The Lone Gunmen; Leirness has directed a number of films, including Specters, Karl Rove I Love You, and The Truth Is Out There, a documentary he and Haglund collaborated on delving into a variety of conspiracy theories.) Even Haglund's move to Australia last year hasn't slowed the steady release of Chillpak every Monday, as the two host continue to collaborate through Skype to pull off the show. Leirness takes advantage of the occasional trip back to America that Haglund makes to try to do something special with the show and the solution this time -- just in time for the show's 500th episode -- was to do a field trip ...
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Huffington Post article
Karl Rove: Will Democrats ever be honest about the Trump election?
Fox News - 3 months
This should be a time for a serious reappraisal by Democrats. Their party suffered a startling defeat last month from top to bottom.
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Fox News article
Karl Rove scolds Trump for 'not accurate' Boeing comment
Fox News - 3 months
Former WH adviser sounds off
Article Link:
Fox News article
When They Go Low, We Go Lower
Huffington Post - 3 months
During the Democratic National Convention last summer, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, gave a rousing speech. Her most memorable line was, "When they go low, we go high," and it became an unofficial anthem of the Clinton campaign. With all due respect to the First Lady, while that may very well have been appropriate for the Convention, it no longer is. The campaign is over, and the worst has happened. Now, when they go low (and they do so every day), we must go lower. We fight them with everything we've got. Americans love a fighter, so let's give them a fight. The last time Americans' challenged a fascist power - actually, two - was during World War II. We didn't win it by going higher, except to keep the Allied bombers above the range of the German anti-aircraft guns. We did what needed to be done, raining devastation down on the German and Japanese homelands. FDR and Churchill knew what it would take to defeat fascism - utter destruction and unconditional surrender. Today th ...
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Huffington Post article
The Grand Delusion: Trump 2.0 Coming In January
Huffington Post - 3 months
The mainstream media, with rare exceptions, has been making a Herculean effort to re-invent Donald Trump as a normal human who won't carry over his demagogic, bigoted, authoritarian and impulsive campaign persona into the White house. The Democrats and President Obama are also playing along, hoping if they pretend he is not whom he has always been, he will truly evolve into someone who can be reasoned with. Trump has apparently even been talking regularly to President Obama during the transition, which provides a "sign" to those whose optimism is boundless. It reminds one of the period between the anointing of George W. Bush by the Supreme Court in 2000 and his ascension to power. Newspapers were repeatedly cautioning Bush that he became President under a cloud, the country was bitterly divided, and he had to unite the country by finding a middle ground with Al Gore supporters incensed by the Court's actions. Of course, Bush talked the conciliatory talk, but he had no desire to w ...
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Huffington Post article
A 'Safe Space' For White People, Otherwise Known As 'The Two-State Solution,' or 'Disunion As Solution'
Huffington Post - 3 months
It's time, America. It's either a two-state divorce, or "Heil, Trump" will be coming to your neighborhood as it has already come to mine. We are in a civil war. Not very hot -- yet -- but in which tension is building daily. Neo-Nazis party in my neighborhood of Chevy Chase, unnoticed by the Leader, while he attacks the cast of Hamilton instead. Clinton keeps racking up votes, now with a 2,000,000+ vote lead, while no one is yet auditing the states that swung the Electoral College (itself a vestige of slavery). Liberals are turning in on themselves, while conservatives stand stunned, buried at the foot of the wreckage of the Republican party while the kakistocracy takes shape. All this because a few hundred thousand Rust Belt citizens, repeatedly fed misinformation and disinformation in our era of Big Data, decided to first destroy the Republican Party, which had betrayed then for forty years (fool me once...), and then take down the entire country in a fit of pique for an encore. ...
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Huffington Post article
Karl Rove on Steve Bannon's 'fundamental mistake'
Fox News - 3 months
'No evidence' Bannon is a bigot
Article Link:
Fox News article
'Hamilton' controversy grabs headlines amid Trump transition
Fox News - 3 months
Karl Rove and Mo Elleithee debate
Article Link:
Fox News article
KARL ROVE What if 'Hamilton' actor had said THIS to Pence?
Fox News - 3 months
Article Link:
Fox News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Karl Rove
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 64
    Rove's history, The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters, was published in 2015.
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  • 2013
    Age 62
    In 2013 Rove and the PAC American Crossroads created the Conservative Victory Project for the purpose of supporting electable conservative candidates.
    More Details Hide Details These efforts have attracted criticism, and even personal attacks, from elements within the Tea Party movement.
  • 2012
    Age 61
    On November 6, 2012, Rove protested Fox News' call of the 2012 presidential election for Barack Obama, prompting host Megyn Kelly to ask him, "Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?
    More Details Hide Details Or is this real?"
    In June 2012, Rove married lobbyist Karen Johnson in Austin, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details The wedding was attended by George W. Bush and Steve Wynn. In a 2007 interview with the New York Review of Books, atheist Christopher Hitchens claimed that Rove was "not a believer". However, in 2010, Rove told Kamy Akhavan of ProCon.org in an email exchange that Hitchens had misinterpreted a quote of his about feeling that the faith of other White House staffers was stronger than his own and stating "I am a practicing Christian who attends a Bible-centered Episcopal church in Washington and an Anglican church in Texas." Rove resides in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., and also keeps a house near Austin, Texas.
    In February 2012, Rove said Chrysler's Halftime in America Super Bowl advertisement featuring Clint Eastwood was a sign of Chicago-style politics.
    More Details Hide Details Following Todd Akin's comments regarding "legitimate rape" and the notion that raped women are unlikely to become pregnant, Rove joked about murdering the Missouri Senate candidate, saying "We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!" After multiple news outlets picked up on the story, Rove apologized for the remark. Rove's Crossroads GPS organization had previously pulled its television advertising from Missouri in the wake of the comments.
  • 2011
    Age 60
    In a profile which appeared in the December 15, 2011 issue of The New Republic, Rove, with his hands-on involvement with American Crossroads, is described as one of the shrewdest navigators of the political climate after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which exempted political broadcasts funded by corporations and unions from campaign finance limits. "Rove had no role in creating this new legal environment... but if Rove and his allies did not invent it, they certainly were adroit at exploiting it."
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2010
    Age 59
    Rove was the guest host of The Rush Limbaugh Show on Monday, August 9, 2010., marking his first time hosting a radio talk show.
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    In 2010, Rove became an adviser to American Crossroads, a Republican 527 organization raising money for the 2012 election effort.
    More Details Hide Details Rove made appearances at a number of campuses, including UC Merced on October 8 as conservatives students, in the College Republicans at UC Merced, sought to provide an alternative perspective since First Lady Michelle Obama and Former President Jimmy Carter spoke at the young campus.
  • 2009
    Age 58
    In December 2009, Rove and Hickson were granted a divorce in Texas.
    More Details Hide Details Dana Perino, Rove's spokesperson, said, "Karl Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week. The couple came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship. There will be no further comment and the family requests that its privacy be respected."
    In 2009, Rove was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details The induction became a major dispute as political views clashed over the announcement. Gov. John Hoeven was scheduled to introduce Rove during the SAHF banquet but did not attend. At that time, Rove was being investigated by Democrats in Congress for his role in the 2006 dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys.
  • 2008
    Age 57
    On May 22, 2008, Rove was subpoenaed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers to testify on the politicization of the Department of Justice.
    More Details Hide Details However, on July 10, Rove refused to acknowledge his congressional subpoena citing executive privilege as his reason. On February 23, 2009, Rove was required by Congressional subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee concerning his knowledge of the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy and the alleged political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, but did not appear on this date. He and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers later agreed to testify under oath before Congress about these matters. On July 7 and July 30, 2009, Rove testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding questions about the dismissal of seven U.S. Attorneys under the Bush Administration. Rove was also questioned regarding the federal prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who was convicted of fraud. The Committee concluded that Rove had played a significant role in the attorney firings.
    On November 3, 2008, Rove spoke on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis on the eve of Election Day.
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    Rove agreed to debate one-time presidential candidate and former Senator John Edwards on September 26, 2008, at the University at Buffalo.
    More Details Hide Details However, Edwards dropped out and was replaced with General Wesley Clark. Rove, who was hired by Fox News to provide analysis for the network's election coverage, defended his role on the news team to the Television Critics Association.
    On June 24, 2008, Rove said of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, "Even if you never met him, you know this guy.
    More Details Hide Details He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone."
    On March 9, 2008, Rove appeared at the University of Iowa as a paid speaker to a crowd of approximately 1,000.
    More Details Hide Details He was met with hostility and two students were removed by police after attempting a citizen's arrest for alleged crimes committed during his time with the Bush administration. Near the end of the speech, a member of the audience asked, "Can we have our $40,000 back?" Rove replied, "No, you can't."
    Rove was an informal advisor to 2008 Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, and donated $2,300 to his campaign.
    More Details Hide Details His memoir, Courage and Consequence, was published in March 2010. One advance reviewer, Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, said of the book that Rove "revives claims discredited long ago". The controversial book has inspired a grassroots rock and roll compilation of a similar name Courage and Consequence that was released a week before the memoir.
    Shortly after leaving the White House, Rove was hired to write about the 2008 Presidential Election for Newsweek.
    More Details Hide Details He was also later hired as a contributor for the Wall Street Journal and a political analyst for Fox News.
  • 2007
    Age 56
    On August 31, 2007, Karl Rove resigned without responding to the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena claiming, "I just think it's time to leave."
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    He was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details He has also headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives. Since leaving the White House, Rove has worked as a political analyst and contributor for Fox News, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. Prior to his White House appointments, he is credited with the 1994 and 1998 Texas gubernatorial victories of George W. Bush, as well as Bush's 2000 and 2004 successful presidential campaigns. In his 2004 victory speech Bush referred to Rove as "the Architect". Rove has also been credited for the successful campaigns of John Ashcroft (1994 U.S. Senate election), Bill Clements (1986 Texas gubernatorial election), Senator John Cornyn (2002 U.S. Senate election), Governor Rick Perry (1990 Texas Agriculture Commission election), and Phil Gramm (1982 U.S. House and 1984 U.S. Senate elections).
  • 2006
    Age 55
    In April 2006, Rove was reassigned from his policy development role to one focusing on strategic and tactical planning in anticipation of the November 2006 congressional elections.
    More Details Hide Details On May 2, 2007, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to Attorney General Gonzales compelling the Department of Justice to produce all email from Rove regarding the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy no matter what email account Rove may have used, with a deadline of May 15, 2007, for compliance. The subpoena also demanded relevant email previously produced in the Valarie Plame controversy and investigation for the CIA leak scandal (2003).
  • 2004
    Age 53
    In a November 2004 speech, Bush publicly thanked Rove, calling him "the architect" of his victory over John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.
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    He was later given the title Deputy Chief of Staff to the President after the successful 2004 Presidential election.
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  • 2001
    Age 50
    When George W. Bush was first inaugurated in January 2001, Rove accepted an appointment as Senior Advisor.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1999
    Age 48
    In early 1999, Rove sold his 20-year-old direct-mail business, Karl Rove & Co., which provided campaign services to candidates, along with Praxis List Company (in whole or part) to Ted Delisi and Todd Olsen, two young political operatives who had worked on campaigns of some other Rove candidates.
    More Details Hide Details Rove helped finance the sale of the company, which had 11 employees. Selling Karl Rove & Co. was a condition that George W. Bush had insisted on before Rove took the job of chief strategist for Bush's presidential bid.
    In all, Bush (primarily through Rove's efforts) raised $17.7 million, with $3.4 million unspent as of March 1999.
    More Details Hide Details During the course of this campaign Rove's much-reported feud with Rick Perry began, with Perry's strategists believing Rove gave Perry bad advice in order to help Bush get a larger share of the Hispanic vote. 2000 Harold See campaign for Chief Justice For the race to succeed Perry Hooper, who was retiring as Alabama's chief justice, Rove lined up support for See from a majority of the state's important Republicans.
    Rove operated his consulting business until 1999, when he sold the firm to take a full-time position in George W. Bush's presidential campaign.
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  • 1998
    Age 47
    From July through December 1998, Bush's reelection committee paid Rove & Co. nearly $2.5 million, and also paid the Rove-owned Praxis List Company $267,000 for use of mailing lists.
    More Details Hide Details Rove says his work for the Bush campaign included direct mail, voter contact, phone banks, computer services, and travel expenses. Of the $2.5 million, Rove said, "about 30 percent of that is postage".
    1998 George W. Bush gubernatorial campaign Rove was an adviser for Bush's 1998 reelection campaign.
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  • 1996
    Age 45
    1996 Harold See's campaign for Associate Justice, Alabama Supreme Court A former campaign worker charged that, at Rove's behest, he distributed flyers that anonymously attacked Harold See, their own client.
    More Details Hide Details This put the opponent's campaign in an awkward position; public denials of responsibility for the scurrilous flyers would be implausible. Rove's client was elected.
  • 1994
    Age 43
    By January 1994, Bush had spent more than $600,000 on the race against incumbent Democrat Ann Richards, with $340,000 of that paid to Rove's firm.
    More Details Hide Details Rove has been accused of using the push poll technique to call voters to ask such things as whether people would be "more or less likely to vote for Governor Richards if they knew her staff is dominated by lesbians". Rove has denied having been involved in circulating these rumors about Richards during the campaign, although many critics nonetheless identify this technique, particularly as utilized in this instance against Richards, as a hallmark of his career.
    1994 George W. Bush gubernatorial campaign In 1993, Rove began advising George W. Bush in his successful campaign to become governor of Texas.
    More Details Hide Details Bush announced his candidacy in November 1993.
    1994 John Ashcroft senatorial campaign In 1993, according to the New York Times, Karl Rove & Company was paid $300,000 in consulting fees by Ashcroft's successful 1994 Senate campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Ashcroft paid Rove's company more than $700,000 over the course of three campaigns.
    1994 Alabama Supreme Court races In 1994, a group called the Business Council of Alabama hired Rove to help run a slate of Republican candidates for the state supreme court.
    More Details Hide Details No Republican had been elected to that court in more than a century. The campaign by the Republicans was unprecedented in the state, which had previously only seen low-key contests. After the election, a court battle over absentee and other ballots followed that lasted more than 11 months. It ended when a federal appeals court judge ruled that disputed absentee ballots could not be counted, and ordered the Alabama Secretary of State to certify the Republican candidate for Chief Justice, Perry Hooper, as the winner. An appeal to the Supreme Court by the Democratic candidate was turned down within a few days, making the ruling final. Hooper won by 262 votes. Another candidate, Harold See, ran against Mark Kennedy, an incumbent Democratic justice and the son-in-law of George Wallace. The race included charges that Kennedy was mingling campaign funds with those of a non-profit children's foundation he was involved with. A former Rove staffer reported that some within the See camp initiated a whisper campaign that Kennedy was a pedophile. Kennedy won by less than one percentage point.
  • 1993
    Age 42
    1993 Kay Bailey Hutchison senatorial campaign Rove helped Hutchison win a special Senate election in June 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Hutchison defeated Democrat Bob Krueger to fill the last two years of Lloyd Bentsen's term. Bentsen resigned to become Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration.
  • 1992
    Age 41
    During testimony before the CIA leak grand jury, Rove apparently confirmed his prior involvement with Novak in the 1992 campaign leak, according to National Journal reporter Murray Waas.
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    Rove was fired from the 1992 Bush presidential campaign after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief Robert Mosbacher Jr. (Esquire Magazine, January 2003).
    More Details Hide Details Novak provided some evidence of motive in his column describing the firing of Mosbacher by former Senator Phil Gramm: "Also attending the session was political consultant Karl Rove, who had been shoved aside by Mosbacher." Novak and Rove deny that Rove was the leaker, but Mosbacher maintained that "Rove is the only one with a motive to leak this. We let him go. I still believe he did it."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1990
    Age 39
    One notable aspect of the 1990 election was the charge that Rove had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate major Democratic officeholders in Texas. In his autobiography, Rove called the whole thing a "myth", saying: In 1991, United States Attorney General Dick Thornburgh resigned to run for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, one made vacant by John Heinz's death in a helicopter crash.
    More Details Hide Details Rove's company worked for the campaign, but it ended with an upset loss to Democrat Harris Wofford. Rove subsequently sued Thornburgh alleging non-payment for services rendered. The Republican National Committee, worried that the suit would make it hard to recruit good candidates, urged Rove to back off. When Rove refused, the RNC hired Kenneth Starr to write an amicus brief on Thornburgh's behalf. After a trial in Austin, Rove prevailed. Karl Rove & Co. v. Thornburgh was heard by U.S. Federal Judge Sam Sparks (who had been appointed by George H.W. Bush in 1991).
    In 1990, two other Rove candidates won: Rick Perry, the future governor of the state, became agricultural commissioner, and Kay Bailey Hutchison became state treasurer.
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  • 1989
    Age 38
    In 1989, Rove encouraged George W. Bush to run for Texas governor, brought in experts to tutor him on policy, and introduced him to local reporters.
    More Details Hide Details Eventually, Bush decided not to run, and Rove backed another Republican for governor who lost in the primary.
  • 1988
    Age 37
    In 1988, Rove helped Thomas R. Phillips become the first Republican elected as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Phillips had been appointed to the position in November 1987 by Clements. Phillips was re-elected in 1990, 1996 and 2002.
    More Details Hide Details Phillips' election in 1988 was part of an aggressive grassroots campaign called "Clean Slate '88", a conservative effort that was successful in getting five of its six candidates elected. (Ordinarily there were three justices on the ballot each year, on a nine-justice court, but, because of resignations, there were six races for the Supreme Court on the ballot in November 1988.) By 1998, Republicans held all nine seats on the Court.
  • 1986
    Age 35
    In January 1986, Rove married Darby Tara Hickson, a breast cancer survivor, graphic designer, and former employee of Karl Rove & Company.
    More Details Hide Details Rove and Hickson have one son, Andrew Madison Rove, who attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. In 2002, Rove built a home just outside Destin, Florida, which includes a television studio for remote news appearances.
    In 1986, just before a crucial debate in campaign, Rove claimed that his office had been bugged by Democrats.
    More Details Hide Details The police and FBI investigated and discovered that the bug's battery was so small that it needed to be changed every few hours, and the investigation was dropped. Critics, including other Republican operatives, suspected Rove had bugged his own office to garner sympathy votes in the close governor's race.
    In 1986, Rove helped Clements become governor a second time.
    More Details Hide Details In a strategy memo Rove wrote for his client prior to the race, now among Clements's papers in the Texas A&M University library, Rove quoted Napoleon: "The whole art of war consists in a well-reasoned and extremely circumspect defensive, followed by rapid and audacious attack."
  • 1984
    Age 33
    In 1984, Rove helped Gramm, who had become a Republican in 1983, defeat Republican Ron Paul in the primary and Democrat Lloyd Doggett in the race for U.S. Senate.
    More Details Hide Details Rove handled direct-mail for the Reagan-Bush campaign.
  • 1981
    Age 30
    Between 1981 and 1999, Rove worked on hundreds of races.
    More Details Hide Details Most were in a supporting role, doing direct mail fundraising. A November 2004 Atlantic Monthly article estimated that he was the primary strategist for 41 statewide, congressional, and national races, and Rove's candidates won 34 races. Rove also did work during those years for non-political clients. From 1991 to 1996, Rove advised tobacco giant Philip Morris, and ultimately earned $3,000 a month via a consulting contract. In a deposition, Rove testified that he severed the tie in 1996 because he felt awkward "about balancing that responsibility with his role as Bush's top political advisor" while Bush was governor of Texas and Texas was suing the tobacco industry. Rove advised the younger Bush during his unsuccessful Texas congressional campaign in 1978.
    In 1981, Rove founded a direct mail consulting firm, Karl Rove & Co., in Austin.
    More Details Hide Details The firm's first clients included Texas Governor Bill Clements and Democratic congressman Phil Gramm, who later became a Republican congressman and United States Senator.
    On September 11, 1981, Rove's mother committed suicide in Reno, Nevada.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1980
    Age 29
    Rove and Wainwright were divorced in early 1980.
    More Details Hide Details He attended the University of Texas at Austin in 1977. In July 1999 he told The Washington Post that he did not have a degree because "I lack at this point one math class, which I can take by exam, and my foreign language requirement."
  • 1979
    Age 28
    Rove was deputy director of the Governor William P. Clements Junior Committee in 1979 and 1980, and deputy executive assistant to the governor of Texas (roughly, Deputy Chief of Staff) in 1980 and 1981.
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    The PAC eventually became the genesis of the Bush-for-President campaign of 1979–1980.
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  • 1978
    Age 27
    His work for William Clements during the Texas gubernatorial election of 1978 helped Clements become the first Republican Governor of Texas in over 100 years.
    More Details Hide Details Clements was elected to a four-year term, succeeding Democrat Dolph Briscoe.
  • 1977
    Age 26
    In 1977, Rove was the first person hired by George H. W. Bush for his unsuccessful 1980 presidential campaign, which ended with Bush as the vice-presidential nominee. In 1982, Bill Clements ran for reelection, but was defeated by Democrat Mark White. In 1982, Phil Gramm was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a conservative Texas Democrat.
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    Rove's initial job in Texas was in 1977 as a legislative aide for Fred Agnich, a Texas Republican state representative from Dallas.
    More Details Hide Details Later that same year, Rove got a job as executive director of the Fund for Limited Government, a political action committee (PAC) in Houston headed by James A. Baker, III, a Houston lawyer (later President George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State).
  • 1976
    Age 25
    Rove married Houston socialite Valerie Mather Wainwright, on July 10, 1976.
    More Details Hide Details He moved to Texas in January 1977. His sister and father still remembered "the wedding that was so extravagant that we... still recall it with awe".
  • 1973
    Age 22
    As Special Assistant, Rove performed small personal tasks for Bush. In November 1973, he 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    On September 6, 1973, three weeks after announcing his intent to investigate the allegations against Rove, George H.W. Bush chose him to be chairman of the College Republicans.
    More Details Hide Details Bush then wrote Edgeworth a letter saying that he had concluded that Rove had fairly won the vote at the convention. Edgeworth wrote back, asking about the basis of that conclusion. Not long after that, Edgeworth stated "Bush sent me back the angriest letter I have ever received in my life. I had leaked to the Washington Post, and now I was out of the Party forever." As National Chairman, Rove introduced Bush to Atwater, who had taken Rove's job as the College Republican's executive director, and who would become Bush's main campaign strategist in future years. Bush hired Rove as a Special Assistant in the Republican National Committee, a job Rove left in 1974 to become Executive Assistant to the co-chair of the RNC, Richard D. Obenshain.
    In response, then RNC Chairman George H.W. Bush, had an FBI agent question Rove. As part of the investigation, Atwater signed an affidavit, dated August 13, 1973, stating that he had heard a "20 minute anecdote similar to the one described in the Washington Post" in July 1972, but that "it was a funny story during a coffee break".
    More Details Hide Details Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, has been quoted as saying "based on my review of the files, it appears the Watergate prosecutors were interested in Rove's activities in 1972, but because they had bigger fish to fry they did not aggressively investigate him."
    On August 10, 1973, in the midst of the Watergate scandal, the Post broke the story in an article titled "GOP Party Probes Official as Teacher of Tricks".
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    Rove held the position of executive director of the College Republicans until early 1973.
    More Details Hide Details He left the job to spend five months, without pay, campaigning full-time for the position of National Chairman during the time he attended George Mason University. Lee Atwater, the group's Southern regional coordinator, who was two months younger than Rove, managed Rove's campaign. The two spent the spring of 1973 crisscrossing the country in a Ford Pinto, lining up the support of Republican state chairs. The College Republicans summer 1973 convention at the Lake of the Ozarks resort in Missouri was quite contentious. Rove's opponent was Robert Edgeworth of Michigan. The other major candidate, Terry Dolan of California, dropped out, supporting Edgeworth. A number of states had sent two competing delegates, because Rove and his supporters had made credential challenges at state and regional conventions. For example, after the Midwest regional convention, Rove forces had produced a version of the Midwestern College Republicans constitution which differed significantly from the constitution that the Edgeworth forces were using, in order to justify the unseating of the Edgeworth delegates on procedural grounds, including delegations, such as Ohio and Missouri, which had been certified earlier by Rove himself. In the end, there were two votes, conducted by two convention chairs, and two winners - Rove and Edgeworth, each of whom delivered an acceptance speech. After the convention, both Edgeworth and Rove appealed to Republican National Committee Chairman George H. W. Bush, each contending that he was the new College Republican chairman.
  • 1972
    Age 21
    A CBS report on the organization of the Nixon campaign from June 1972 includes an interview with a young Rove working for the College Republican National Committee.
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    Rove traveled extensively, participating as an instructor at weekend seminars for campus conservatives across the country. He was an active participant in Richard Nixon's 1972 Presidential campaign.
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  • 1971
    Age 20
    Rove then enrolled at the University of Maryland in College Park in the Fall of 1971, but withdrew from classes during the first half of the semester.
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    In June 1971, after the end of the semester, Rove dropped out of the University of Utah to take a paid position as the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee.
    More Details Hide Details Joe Abate, who was National Chairman of the College Republicans at the time, became his mentor.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1970
    Age 19
    In the fall of 1970, Rove used a false identity to enter the campaign office of Democrat Alan J. Dixon, who was running for Treasurer of Illinois.
    More Details Hide Details He stole 1000 sheets of paper with campaign letterhead, 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 when Rove told the Dallas Morning News. In 1999 he said, "It was a youthful prank at the age of 19 and I regret it." In his memoir, Rove wrote that when he was later nominated to the Board for International Broadcasting by President George H.W. Bush, Senator Dixon did not kill his nomination. In Rove's account, "Dixon displayed more grace than I had shown and kindly excused this youthful prank."
  • 1969
    Age 18
    In the fall of 1969, Rove entered the University of Utah, on a $1,000 scholarship, as a political science major and joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
    More Details Hide Details Through the University's Hinckley Institute of Politics, he got an internship with the Utah Republican Party. That position, and contacts from the 1968 Bennett campaign, helped him land a job in 1970 on Ralph Tyler Smith's unsuccessful re-election campaign for Senate from Illinois against Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson III.
    In December 1969, the man Rove had known as his father left the family, and divorced Rove's mother soon afterwards.
    More Details Hide Details After his parents' divorce, Rove learned from his aunt and uncle that the man who had raised him was not his biological father; both he and his older brother Eric were the children of another man. Rove has expressed great love and admiration for his adoptive father and for "how selfless" his love had been.
  • 1968
    Age 17
    Bennett was reelected to a third six-year term in November 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Through Rove's campaign involvement, Bennett's son, Bob Bennett - a future United States Senator from Utah - would become a friend. Williams would later become a mentor to Rove.
    Rove began his involvement in American politics in 1968.
    More Details Hide Details In a 2002 Deseret News interview, Rove explained, "I was the Olympus High chairman for (former United States Senator) Wallace F. Bennett's re-election campaign, where he was opposed by the dynamic, young, aggressive political science professor at the University of Utah, J.D. Williams."
  • 1965
    Age 14
    In 1965, his family moved to Salt Lake City, where Rove entered high school, becoming a skilled debater.
    More Details Hide Details Rove described his high school years as "I was the complete nerd. I had the briefcase. I had the pocket protector. I wore Hush Puppies when they were not cool. I was the thin, scrawny little guy. I was definitely uncool." Encouraged by a teacher to run for class senate, Rove won the election. As part of his campaign strategy he rode in the back of a convertible inside the school gymnasium sitting between two attractive girls before his election speech. While at Olympus High School, he was elected student council president his junior and senior years. Rove was also a Teenage Republican and served as Chairman of the Utah Federation of Teenage Republicans.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1950
    Born
    Born on December 25, 1950.
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