Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Karl Rove at Chicago Theatre on Thurs 5-28-09

Oh there are many times that I wish I were back in my adopted home town of Chicago.

Once such time is right now. Karl Rove will be participating in the 2009 Speaker Series at the Chicago Theater.

On Thursday at the Chicago Theatre, Karl Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, will debate James Carville, the Democratic strategist and political consultant. Journalist Charlie Rose moderates. Rove spoke by phone to the Tribune; here’s an edited transcript.

FULL ARTICLE: http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2009/05/2009-speaker-series-what-karl-rove-wants-now-is-to-set-the-record-straight.html


2009 Speaker Series: What Karl Rove wants now is to set the record straight

Rove PREVIEW: 2009 Speaker Series, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.; Tickets: $35-$150 at ticketmaster.com.

On Thursday at the Chicago Theatre, Karl Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, will debate James Carville, the Democratic strategist and political consultant. Journalist Charlie Rose moderates. Rove spoke by phone to the Tribune; here’s an edited transcript.

One of your former bosses, President George W. Bush, has said he owes President Obama his silence. Yet Vice President Cheney has been speaking out. Where do you stand?

I understand the instincts of both. By custom, the previous president remains restrained. But by custom, the incoming president doesn’t engage in the daily bashing of his predecessor. One of the appalling things about President Obama is that he feels the need to justify his actions by berating his predecessors and then expecting them to keep their mouths shut. To me, it’s a sign of weakness. He’s better than that.

What do you think of James Carville?

I like him. The man has superior judgment in the selection of spouses.

Seeing you and Carville make a joint appearance seems to suggest that politics is all a bit of a game for you guys.

The essence of our democracy is that we can have debates and differences without it being riven, European style. These are deeply held beliefs on his part and these are deeply held beliefs on my part. Our democracy is helped by strenuous debate. It is not helped by debate becoming so angry that we’re driven to the street like some Latin American banana republic. We’ve been in the place where our politics was so poisonous that men were driven to angry acts with weapons. Neither Carville nor I feel compelled to reach for a gun.

It was recently said of David Geffen ...

Oh, great, Hollywood.

... that he finds political figures like the two of you more interesting than those in the entertainment industry. So which of you invented the celebrity political consultant?

No. I am not following your storyline there. I am who I am, he is who he is. In the White House I became a myth. I was like Beowulf—often talked about but rarely seen. I could either have a thick skin and do my job, or I could try and set the record straight. I couldn’t do both at once. Now that I’m out, I am going to set the record straight. I have just finished writing a book.

So your power in the White House was exaggerated?

Washington is a small town. Small towns have strange local rituals. They have their own myth-making. The myth was that this guy, who was a Yale history grad and a Harvard MBA, was not smart. So when he does something smart, how we explain it? We attribute it to the political guy nearby.

Do you agree with Colin Powell that Rush Limbaugh is harming the Republican party?

I believe that success in politics comes from addition, not subtraction. The idea that, as a political party, we should tell someone who has a voice to shut up is not smart. And it is impractical.

Will Carville be drinking you under the table after your gig?

Since I do not drink, that will not be hard for him to do.

You’re comfortable in Chicago, that staunch Democratic town?

I like Chicago. It is a brawny, lumbering town. When my wife figured out she was pregnant, we were at Carson’s. We ordered ribs and she got sick. So the town has a special place in my heart.
Thanks to Karl Rove for the information (http://www.rove.com/notes)

I hope there is a great crowd there. Have fun.



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