Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush

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9781586481926: Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush
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How did George W. Bush-a man of little political experience, little policy know-how, and no clear positions on national issues-become President? How, in the midst of national economic freefall, did the Republicans win complete control of Congress in the 2002 midterm elections? Political insiders credit Karl Rove, a brilliant political consultant and tactician who Bush calls "Boy Genius." Where did Rove come from and how has he engineered his candidates' victories? Even more important, what does he want? In Boy Genius, two seasoned political reporters who know Rove from his many, fruitfully manipulative years as a political consultant in Texas and a nationally known White House correspondent fill readers in on the man and his methods. From running a dirty tricks school and bugging his own office, to masterminding the defeat of popular Governor Ann Richards in Texas, to seeing and harnessing the potential in George W. Bush ("Political hacks like me wait a lifetime for a guy like this to come along," Rove said of the future President), to the master plan for the 2002 elections, Dubose, Reid and Cannon detail Rove's ascendancy to the top of our national political life, illuminating along the way both the dirty underside of politics and Rove's vision for who should be governing our country and how. Boy Genius is a fascinating, entertaining look at the political life of the Man Who Would Be Kingmaker-and a disconcerting expose about exactly how American politics works.

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About the Author:

Lou Dubose is the co-author, with Molly Ivins, of Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. He was the editor of the Texas Observer for eleven years and worked as politics editor of The Austin Chronicle.

Jan Reid is an award-winning novelist and magazine journalist. His most recent book is a much-praised memoir of Texas and Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me. He is a veteran observer and analyst of Texas politics.

Carl M. Cannon is the White House correspondent for National Journal. Before joining the magazine in 1998, Cannon worked for six newspapers over a twenty-year span. In 1993, he was hired by the Baltimore Sun to cover President Clinton. Cannon won the prestigious Gerald R. Ford prize for distinguished reporting of the presidency during 1999, and he was a member of the San Jose Mercury News staff awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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